Plant Species

 

              The State has diverse plant species. However, no systematic survey and documentation of the flora of Mizoram has yet been carried out. Occasional survey and some botanical collections had been carried out by A.T. Gage 1899, N.E. Parry 1927, Rev. W.J.L. Wenger 1932, Kajilal 1934, Fisher 1938, Deb & Dutta 1987, Botanical Survey of India (BSI) Shillong. The plant materials collected by them were deposited scantily in the herberia of KEW (London), CNH (Howrah) and Assam (Shillong). Dr. H. Lalramnghinglova, Botanist, Environment & Forests Department, Govt. of Mizoram, have had started botanical collections since 1991 and deposited around 400 mounted specimens in a small herbarium of the State Forest Department established for the first time in Mizoram and published Handbook of Forest Trees of Mizoram, Forest Resources of Mizoram 1997, etc. The Botanical Survey of India had undertaken the flora of Mizoram as one of its project since 1989 and the volume is expected to come out soon.

             An in-depth study of biodiversity hot spots and documentation of the forest wealth in different areas of disciplines (ecological assessment, socio-ecology, anthropology, ethnobotany, bio-chemistry, fauna & aves, microbiology, biomass production, etc.) need to be explored. According to Dr. H. Lalramnghinglova, more than 400 ethnomedicinal plants have been recorded in the State, of which it is found that about 230 species have medicinal value. Out of this, 65 species are categorized as rare and threatened species at the local (State) level only, and other 64 species are recorded as new ethnomedicinal plants. There are about 20 species of bamboo (table 1.4) reported in different patches of the forest in the State, occupying a large area of the forest, support numerous needs including a small scale and cottage industries. Bamboo also contributes a good amount of revenue to the State exchequer (table 1.5). Besides, the use of bamboo for construction of houses and agricultural implements (table 1.6), they are also used for making hats, mats, baskets, cots, spears, weaving implements, etc. In times of food scarcity, its seeds are use as food, substitutes by the poorer classes and young shoot of about four bamboos species are used by all classes as vegetables.

List of bamboo species found in the forest of Mizoram

Sl.No.

Botanical names    

1

Arundinaria callosa Munro

2

Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Roxb.

3

B. khasina Munro

4

B. longispathus Gamble

5

B. tulda Roxb.

6

B. oliveriana Munro

7

B. vulgaris Schrad ex Wall.

8

Cephalostachyum capitatum Munro

9

C. fuschianum Gamble

10

Chimonobambusa khasianum Munro

11

Dendrocalamus giganteus Munro

12

D. hamiltonii Nees & Arn ex Munro

13

D. hookeri Munro

14

D. longispathus (Kurz) Kurz

15

D. sikkimensis Gamble

16

D. strictus (Roxb) Nees

17

Melacanna baccifera (Roxb) Kurz

18

Melocamus compactiforus Benth.

19

Neohouzeaua dullooa (Gamble) Camus

20

Pseudostechyum polymorphum Munro

 

Revenue (in rupees) received from bamboo in Mizoram

Year

Total Revenue from forest

Revenue from bamboo

Revenue percent

1991-92

1992-93

1993-94

1994-95

9,276,000

11,991,000

11,332,000

15,887,920

3,246,600

2,877,840

4,192,840

6,667,920

35

24

37

42

 

 Consumption of bamboo (MT) in Mizoram

Use

Total

Rural people

Urban people

House building

Agricultural implements

Total

Value in bracket are in percentages

27119

1196

28315

22507 (83)

933 (78)

23442 (83)

4610 (17)

263 (22)

4873 (17)

 

 

Source : Lalrinthangi F.C. (1990), Singh (1996), Progress Report Forestry (1990)

            Jhumming is detrimental to the growth and development of bamboo. But the practice is so common and extensive that a proper assessment of the damages actually caused by it in any particular area must be made carefully before the sustained yield for the said area is arrived at. The estimated results given by the State‚Äôs Forest Department are as follows :-

 

(i)         Area jhummed in North West zone                         -              25,000 ha

(ii)        Area jhummed in North East zone                          -                9,800 ha

(iii)       Total forest area of both the zone                            -           9,75,000 ha

(iv)       Intensity of jhummed area to total forest area :

                        North West zone                                -           Slightly over 2.5 %

                        North East zone                                 -           Slightly over 1%