|Leaves of Tecomella undulata tree at the village of Gharsana, India|
Tecomella undulata is a tree species, locally known as Rohida in Urdu روہیڑا found in Thar Desert regions of India and Pakistan. It is a medium sized tree that produces quality timber and is the main source of timber amongst the indigenous tree species of desert regions of Shekhawati and Marwar in Rajasthan. The trade name of the tree species is Desert teak or Marwar teak.
Tecomella undulata is a deciduous or nearly evergreen tree of arid and semi arid regions. It occurs on flat and undulating areas including gentle hill slopes and sometimes also in ravines. It is well adapted to drained loamy to sandy loam soil having pH 6.5-8.0. The species thrives very well on stabilized sand dunes, which experience extreme low and high temperatures. It grows in areas of scanty rainfall (annual 150-500mm) and high temperature (35 °C to 48 °C). It can withstand extreme low temperature (0 °C to −2 °C) during winter and high temperature (48 °C to 50 °C) in summers. The tree is a strong light demander. It is drought, frost, fire and wind hardy. At the time of flowering (December–February) it produces beautiful showy flowers in yellow, orange and red colours. Three types of flower bearing trees can be observed near to each other in the same vicinity.
Distribution of Tecomella undulata is restricted to the drier parts of the Arabia, southern Pakistan and northwest India up to an elevation of 1200 metres. In Pakistan in Attock kala chita mountain where its local name is ہروڑا it is found in Baluchistan and Sindh. In India, it occurs naturally in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.
The species is mainly found to occur in western parts of Rajasthan. In other states its population is scanty and very rare. In Rajasthan, Tecomella undulata is found in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pali, Ajmer, Nagaur, Bikaner, Churu and Sikar districts.
Tecomella undulata is an accepted tree species in agroforestry and large population is found in agricultural lands. It can be observed growing in community land, forestland and orans in association with Prosopis cineraria, Capparis decidua, Maytenus emarginata, Zizyphus spp. And Salvadora spp. In agriculture land it generally grows in association with Prosopis cineraria.
Tecomella undulata is mainly used as a source of timber. Its wood is strong, tough and durable. It takes a fine finish. Heartwood contains quinoid. The wood is excellent for firewood and charcoal. Cattle and goats eat leaves of the tree. Camels, goats and sheep consume flowers and pods.
Tecomella undulata plays an important role in ecology. It acts as a soil-binding tree by spreading a network of lateral roots on the top surface of the soil. It acts as a windbreak and helps in stabilizing shifting sand dunes. It is considered as the home of birds and provides shelter for other desert wildlife. Shade of tree crown is shelter for the cattle, goats and gsheep during summer days.
Tecomella undulata has got medicinal properties as well. The bark obtained from the stem is used as a remedy for syphilis. It is also used in curing urinary disorders, enlargement of spleen, gonorrhoea, leucoderma and liver diseases. Seeds are used against abscess. Traditionally in Musakhel, Pakistan its flower used for Hepatitis.
- ROHIDA (Tecomella undulata), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun
- Conservation status Patrika News in Hindi
- Yahy M. Musakhel 2005: Floral diversity of Tecomella undulata species in Balochistan Pakistan.