India is home to a rich, dense variety of flora and fauna. The distinct climatic conditions, water bodies, and soil facilitate different kinds of foliage all year long in different parts of the country. Some trees are native to our land while some are found in other places too. The temperature and rainfall differences allow for a variety of trees to grow.
Trees in India also find a place in the history and culture of the country. Banyan is the national tree of India. Trees in India have a sacred place in the scriptures as well and many trees are worshipped. They are holy trees that were once a heavenly abode for the gods and goddesses that lived on these lands. There are various trees and plants with medicinal values as well. Trees are an invaluable part of any landscape and there is nothing more beautiful than a fully blossomed tree. These thick patches of vegetation also serve as homes for many animals, birds, insects, and creatures of different kinds.
Here is a list of 40 trees that are common in India along with their uses and benefits!
1. Indian Mahogany
This tree is very famous for its beautiful colours and sturdiness. The bark of this tree is typically used for making musical instruments and furniture. The tree is a crucial commodity in the furniture industry and is the favourite for many people who want to have sturdy and durable furniture and even flooring. The tree is not only popular for its durability but also for its other benefits. It provides shade and shelter to many animals and also purifies air at a rapid rate.
This tree is a flowering tree with bright orange flowers and a wide canopy. It is mostly ornamental and the wood is used for making handles for tools and combs since it is very durable. It also offers medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, wound-healing, cardio-protective, and anti-microbial, etc.
This tree is famously popular for its medicinal values and healing properties. It is used in various products like shampoos, creams, ointments, etc. it is also used as a natural pesticide. It can kill over 500 different types of pests by changing the way they grow and by interfering with their metabolism. It is also used as a spermicide in many places.
This is a deciduous tree and grows fruits that are round and green. The fruit is rich in vitamin C and used to cure insomnia. It is used in hair dyes and cosmetics as well. It improves immunity and removes wrinkles. It is also widely used in shampoos. People make jams, jelly, pickles, and sweets with this fruit as well.
This is an evergreen tree and is also worshipped in many parts of the country. It has heart-shaped leaves that make it so distinctly different. This tree has lots of medicinal values which makes it widely popular in the country. The leaves of the tree are used to deal with asthma, stomach pain, and heart issues. Eating ripe fruits of the tree is helpful in improving a poor appetite. The peepal tree bark is used to reduce itching as well.
The national tree of India has a large canopy and aerial prop roots. It is also considered holy by many Hindus and Buddhists and symbolizes life and fertility. It was considered as the resting place of Lord Krishna. It produces a special kind of rubber and the milk of the tree is used widely in gardening as well. The wood is used in making paper and fastening ropes. Women in Nepal crush the roots of this tree and use it in shampoo, conditioner, and skin products.
This tall evergreen tree grows up to 300 feet and is known for its essence which is used in a lot of products. It relieves sore muscles and improves blood circulation. It is taken during fever and clears respiratory tracts too. It clears congestion just by inhaling while simultaneously purifying blood. The bark of the tree is used in making plywood, doors, and windows. This is generally found in the Nilgiris region of India.
Cedrus Deodara is found in the Himalayan region and is worshipped by Hindus throughout the country. Deodar is grown as an ornamental tree and the leaves and another part of the tree is used in medicines and Ayurveda. The leaves have a calming effect on the brain and help in preventing stress, fatigue, insomnia, and tiredness. The oil obtained from the tree has diaphoretic properties that focus on increasing sweating and effectively reducing fever.
There are typically two species that are planted together in any garden. The large, scented and showy flowers are purple/lilac/ dark pink or white-coloured.
This is famously known for its fragrant flowers, pointed top, and thick foliage. The flowers bloom bright yellow and orange through the months of February to April.
Also called ‘Tulasi’ or holy basil, this plant has purplish flowers and is considered holy in India. It has great medicinal value and is used in making an herbal tea as well. Its oil is used in medicines and it treats cold and respiratory issues. The fresh leaves of this plant are consumed by millions every day. There are three types that have distinct tastes, benefits, and uses. Sometimes, two different kinds are used to get a flavour that is enjoyed in food and cuisines across the country.
This tree is native to India and Sri Lanka and the leaves of this tree are often used in south Indian cooking. They give a distinct aroma and flavour to the food.
This is native to the Indian sub-continent and is known for its fine quality timber. It is used to make furniture and wood implements.
This is a deciduous tree that is used in shipbuilding. The wood is also food for bees and is used during yajnas. The juice from the bark is used to treat sore throats and colds as well. The bark also yields gum which is a substitute for the general Arabic gum that is used.
This is commonly known as the golden shower. During the summer season, this tree is filled with beautiful golden flowers with a mild scent.
This is a deciduous tree with conical leaves and bright yellow flowers. The bark of the tree has Ayurveda properties and has anti-oxidant properties. It is used to treat heart conditions and for moderating asthma. This is also one of the sacred trees of India.
17. The silk cotton
This is a tall tree that blossoms in Jan- Feb period and produces bright red flowers in clusters. Many birds visit this tree for the nectar of the flower.
Or commonly also called Indian ebony, it is native to central India. This tree is used in the manufacture of beedi, the traditional cigarette of India.
This tree has been culturally important for Hindus for centuries. The yellow powder is a very distinct colour that is used as a food dye. Haldi is a symbol of fertility, purity, and prosperity. It is used in cosmetics and medicines as well. Temples use this extensively and it is a sign that brings good luck. It is used in reducing blood cholesterol and improving brain functions. Studies have shown that people who consume Haldi daily in milk appear to have stronger immunity and metabolism.
20. Lagerstroemia speciosa
This is the state flower of Maharashtra and is locally known as Tamhan. The mauve flowers are almost 30 cms long and flower during April- May, and July- August.
This tree is considered holy in the country. People use the bark for toothbrushes as it has its inherent medicinal values. It is also used as fodder for cattle. The dried leaves of this tree are sprinkled over wounds to make them stop bleeding. If the powder is mixed with water and used for gargling, it cures mouth diseases and ulcers. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-malaria, and anti-viral properties. The bark of the tree is also powdered and used to clean teeth.
This is an evergreen tree that has a yellowish blonde/ reddish-brown bark which is used in making furniture, boat decks, and indoor flooring. The bark is also bitter and is used to clear sore throats and fever. It is also useful in stomach problems and headaches.
Also famous as the ‘Tree of life of tribal India’, Mahua is mostly found in the central belt of India. The Mahua flowers are edible and have medicinal purposes. From epilepsy to seasonal flu, Mahua is a one-stop solution to virtually every health problem. The flowers are also used for making an alcoholic drink in Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
This is a small thorny tree that mainly grows in cold areas. It is used as firewood and timber. The flowers are ornamental and are used for fodder for goats. The wood of the tree is used for making paper and gum.
This tree has large flowers that crowd on the branches. They bloom a flaming scarlet colour and also resemble a parrot’s beak. The dye made from these flowers is used during the festival of Holi.
This is a deciduous tree with whitish-pink flowers. It provides shade and is used as fuelwood. It is used to make doors, furniture, musical instruments, skis, carvings, windows, ship floors, etc. The bark of this tree is very durable so it is also used to make martial art weaponry and the oil is extensively used in perfumes.
This is a small flowering tree with sweet-scented flowers that are extremely beautiful. The flowers are pearly white and have an orange-red tube and centre. The flowers blossom and open at night and fall to the ground at daybreak.
This is usually found in the Himalayan region along with pine forests. The bark is used to make furniture and wood implements. Oak trees live up to 1000 years and are tall, strong trees. The furniture made from these trees is luxury pieces that are highly sought after and expensive.
These grow to a height of only 3ft and the female plants produce bright red berries with black seeds in them. The fresh juice made from these berries is consumed as it contains several medicinal properties. The distinct flavour of asparagus makes it a favorite amongst vegetable lovers who generally consume it boiled or cooked. People also use it in salads as they have no fat in it.
30. Earleaf Acacia
This is an evergreen tree that is used as an ornamental plant. The wood of the tree is used in making paper, furniture, and wood implements. The gum extracted is used to reduce inflammation and irritation. And is also effective in easing throat and stomach discomfort. They also help heal ulcers.
31. Badminton Ball
This is typically used as an avenue tree in India and is known for its distinct look. It is also called the African locust tree and has coloured tennis ball-shaped flowering heads.
This is amongst the most commonly used tree in India. It is mainly cultivated for its seed fibres. Safed semal is an important source of nectar and the kapok seeds are used to produce oil.
Kigelia Africana is also called the cucumber fruit tree for its long sausage-like fruit that hangs from the branches of the tree. This tree is native to South African but it grew in India. It is an ornamental plant but the fresh fruit of the tree is considered to be poisonous.
These are mostly found in the southern western ghats. These are evergreen species that are used as ornamental plants because they are so attractive. There are planted in parks and gardens and the pine is used for handicrafts. The sap from the tree is used to kill mosquitoes by heating it. It also used to kill a variety of worms that get into sleds and wooden items. It also has antioxidant properties and boosts immunity levels in humans when consumed appropriately. The needles mixed with resin are also used to ward off evil spirits and curses.
Aegle Marmelos is commonly called bael in India. It is considered sacred by Hindus and the stone apple tree is native to the Indian sub-continent and is used in the rituals as well.
This is a popular fruit-bearing tree in the Western Ghats. The tree is ornamental in nature and the fruit finds a place in Goan cuisine as well. The fruit is used to make a fresh juice which has many health benefits.
This is the state tree of Rajasthan and is native to the dry region of the country. This is an ornamental plant that is considered sacred and is prayed to during the Dasara festival.
38. Indian Tulip
This is a small tree that originated in India. This flowering plant is used in traditional Tahitian drumming. The seeds and root bark are used to expel worms from the body. The inner bark tea is used for treating diarrhoea, pinworms, periodic fevers, and rheumatic pain. Some people also use the leaves in decoction to treat arthritis.
39. Weeping fig
Ficus Benjamina is a very popular houseplant in India. It is a flowering plant and the fruit borne by it is edible. It is common and popularly used as a bonsai indoor plant.
Schleichera Oleosa is present in the Indian sub-continent and the fruit is called kokum in the native language. It occurs mostly in the central region and is the main tree of Madhya Pradesh. The fruit of the tree is widely consumed and is very nutritious as well.
There are only 40 trees that are common in India. The real number is much more.
India is a tropical land with distinct climate, soil, temperatures, and land properties which makes it a suitable home for many different kinds of trees. The trees have multiple benefits which make them all an important asset to the growth of the country. More than the economy, their thick forests and vegetation patches act as the lungs for different belts. We need to ensure that the trees that are native to our country continue to flourish and thrive and do not become extinct in the race to make and supply more goods and products.
The Nelda Foundation is an environment-friendly NGO located in Pune. We believe in giving back to nature and understand that it is everyone’s duty to protect the environment. This project was launched in 2016 with a plan to help people plant and grow a billion trees by 2041. We run plantation drives and help to keep green areas clean and green. Planting a tree is not a complicated exercise and with our team of experienced workers and experts, we will help you have a successful drive.
You can choose between donating saplings to Nelda or join us with your own plantation drive team.
If you want to contact us, call at +91 9823348087 or visit our working locations. Go gree today!