Uttarakhand declared Burans (Rhododendron arboreum) its state tree. It is found in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Thailand. Burans is the national flower of Nepal; in India, it is the state tree of Uttarakhand and the state flower of Nagaland. It is known by Burans or Laligurans and in Nepal is pronounced as Gurans.
State Tree Of Uttarakhand: Its Distribution And Importance
Let me introduce you to Buras tree and its distribution, importance, traditional and medical use. If you don’t know about the state symbols of Uttarakhand read here.
Etymology Of Rhododendron Arboreum
The generic name, ‘Rhododendron‘ has been derived from two Greek words, ‘Rhod‘ means ‘Rosy Red‘ and ‘Dendron‘ means ‘Tree‘ which refers to the rosy red flowers of the species. The specific epithet ‘Arboreum‘ refers to ‘tree-like’.
Botanical Description Of Burans Tree
An evergreen Burans tree growing up to 20 m tall, having rough and pinkish-brown bark. Leaves crowded towards the end of branches, oblong-lanceolate and narrowed at ends, 7.5 – 15 × 2.5 – 5 cm, glabrous above, white or rusty brown-tomentose beneath.
Many flowers in the terminal are large, globose, compact corymbs, deep red or pink in color. The Calyx is small with broadly ovate, scarious pale yellow lobes. Corolla campanulate is 2.5 – 6.5 cm long with 5 recurved, fringed lobes.
Flowering & Fruiting Of Burans Tree: March to November
Range of Distribution Of Rhododendron Arboreum
It is native to India, distributed throughout the Himalayas, and also found in Bhutan, China, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Economic Importance State Tree Of Uttarakhand
The wood is used as fuel and for making charcoal. Heartwood is used for making tool-handles, boxes, pack-saddles, posts, plywood and sometimes employed for construction purposes. The bark is used to make excellent stuff. Petals are used to prepare sub-acidic jelly or pickles.
Traditional Uses Of Burans Tree
Petals are eaten for their sour-sweet taste. Flowers are offered to deities in almost all religious functions. Fresh leaves are burnt along with leaves of species of Juniper/Thuja/Pinus, for making smoke that is believed to be sacred and help in purifying the air in West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Medicinal Uses Of Gurans Tree
Young leaves are applied to the forehead for alleviating the headache. Flowers and bark are used to cure digestive and respiratory disorders.
Note: This species regenerates naturally or can be propagated artificially by seed germination or cuttings.