Scientific History of Some Alien Plants In India: Origin, Implications And Culture
Indian subcontinent has a rich heritage of biodiversity because of its variable geo-climatic conditions. Several exotic plant species survived since ancient period and became an integral part of Indian flora. Nay, they now seem to be iconic plants and are being venerated. They are valued by the Indians for their esteem, culture and welfare. Select 20 exotic notable species are studied from the standpoint of their origin, distribution, culture and ancient Sanskrit literature. Diverse information about them is adduced from architecture, art, archaeological sites, etymology (philology), anthropology, ancient Sanskrit and religious scriptures. Some of them were once thought introduced by western rulers in the then India few centuries ago. This belief can be easily negated based on the present investigation. They appeared to have been brought in India during pre-Columbian period. They also appear to be indicators of Indian contacts with various parts of the Old World and interestingly even New World.
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