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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/98

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HERBS, SHRUBS, AND TREES

in the north of Karnal — Chachra, in Jalandhar — Dardhak, and in Gujrat — Palahi, have taken their names from this tree. It coppices very freely, furnishes excellent firewood and good timber for the wooden frames on which the masonry cylinders of wells are reared, it exudes a valuable gum, its flowers yield a dye, and the dry leaves are eaten by buffaloes. A tree commonly planted near wells and villages in the submontane tract is the dhrek (Melia azedarach, N.O. Meliaceae), which is found as far west as Persia and is often called by English people the Persian lilac. The bahera (Terminalia belerica, N.O. Combretaceae), a much larger tree, is Indo-Malayan. Common shrubs are the mar-wan (Vitex negundo, N.O. Verbenaceae), Plumbago Zeylanica (Plumbaginaceae), the bdnsa or bhekar (Adhatoda vasica, N.O. Acanthaceae). The last is Indo-Malayan. Among herbs Cassias, which do not occur in Europe, are common. The curious cactus-like Euphorbia Royleana grows abundantly and is used for making hedges.

Sub-Himalaya.— A large part of the Sub-Himalayan region belongs to the Siwaliks. The climate is fairly moist and subject to less extremes of heat and cold than the regions described above. A strong infusion of Indo-Malayan types is found and a noticeable feature is the large number of flowering trees and shrubs. Such beautiful flowering trees as the simal or silk-cotton tree (Bombax Malabaricum, N.O. Malvaceae), the amaltds (Cassia fistula), Albizzia mollis and Albizzia stipulata, Erythrina suberosa, Bauhinia purpurea and Bauhinia variegata, all belonging to the order Leguminosae, are unknown in Europe, but common in the Indo-Malayan region. This is true also of Oroxylum Indicum (N.O. Bignoniaceae) with its remarkable long sword-like capsules, and of the kamila (Mallotus Philippinensis), which abounds in the low hills, but may escape the traveller's notice