In pictures: The 'saintly' tree that is the centrepiece of spring in Thar

Experts stress the need to protect the tree species from the timber mafia.
Published 23 Mar, 2021 08:37am

The blooming of Rohiro (tecomella undulata), a famous tree with vividly colourful flowers found in Sindh's Tharparkar district, announces the arrival of spring in the desert region. These beautiful shady trees with a mosaic of red and orange flowers make for a charming landscape against the backdrop of Thar's golden sand dunes.

Professor Noor Ahmed Janjhi, who has worked extensively on the fauna and flora of the desert district, said most of the residents of Thar had stopped felling the tree, terming it a faqir or saintly tree. There is a need to protect the tree from the timber mafia, he added.

Rohiro with its solid wood that produces quality timber is considered one of the best tree species of the region, while its colourful flowers also attract camels, goats and sheep.

All photos by author.

Experts working on the environment and ecology of Thar said despite a ban by the Sindh government on cutting down Rohiro and other trees, some greedy elements were still felling them due to which they might face extinction in the future.

Activist Krishan Sharma commented that these trees greatly enhanced the beauty of Thar in the spring with their strikingly coloured flowers. "Cutting down Rohiro trees and killing peacocks have always been considered as major sins by the people of Thar,'' he said.