DEHRADUN: First Palmetum of Uttarakhand and the biggest Palmetum of North India developed by Research wing of Uttarakhand forest department was inaugrated on sunday in Haldwani of Nainital district in Uttarakhand.
Sanjiv Chaturvedi, 2002 batch Indian Forest Services officer who heads the research wing of the state forest department said, "The Palmetum has around 100 different species of Palms with an aim of promoting conservation, further research and to create awareness about importance and ecological role of various palm species."
Completed in a period of 3 years, it has been funded under CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) scheme of central government with an amount of 16 lakhs spanning in an area of approximately 3 acres.
Canna garden with 40 different colours of Canna species is also one of the point of attraction adding to the aesthetic value of Palmetum.
Around 20 species of Palm in this Palmetum are endangered ot threatend out of which four species are critically endangered, two species are endangered, two species are vulnerable and six species are near threatened as per IUCN ((International Union for Conservation of Nature) categorization, while one is rare as per ENVIS (Environmental Information System), one is threatened as per Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board and one is rare as per Indian Biodiversity Portal.
Out of the total palm species in the palmetum, one is endemic to Uttarakhand- Trachycarpus takil (Takil Palm). This is only Palm species which can survive sub-zero temperature and declared as threatened by Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board.
Other endangered/threatened species include Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail Palm), Hyophorbe lagenicaulis (Bottle palm), Dypsis leptocheilos (Red neck palm), Hyophorbe verschaffeltii (Spindle Palm) etc.
Lots of edible items come from palm trees including Coconuts, dates, betel, palm oil, acai fruit.
Palm wine is created from coconut palms, date palms, the Chilean wine palm and other species.
Owing to their great aesthetic and ornamental value, palms are cultivated for both indoor and outdoor decoration.
Palms are managed by the indigenous populations for food, fodder, handicrafts, thatches and construction materials.