Traditional uses of Sthalavriksham in and around Lord siva temple, Mayiladuthurai, southern India
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The tradition of associating trees with gods and goddesses in Tamilagam can be traced back to Sangam literature, which is full of references to more than a hundred plants that dominated the life of the ancient Tamils. The present study documented the Sthalavirkshas of 5 siva temples in and around Mayiladuthurai, Southern India, 5 plant species were recorded. These have been arranged by binomial name, vernacular name, family name with age of trees, ICBN norms and medicinal uses. The phenology of Sthalavrikshas was documented by interview and direct observation of plants. Medicinal information of Sthalavriksha had been gathered from the available literature. There are more references to plants with special significance. The Sthalavrikshas have played a vital role in the well-being of humanity. Tamil tradition and culture have successfully preserved biodiversity through the ages. The Sthalavrikshas are symbolic of a single genetic resource and play an important role in the conservation of biodiversity. The process of conserving economically, ecologically and medicinally important plants by declaring them as sacred also protected the genetic value of several plant species. Thus the preservation of Sthalavrikshas may also help in the conservation of local floral wealth.
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