Unless you’re growing them in your own homes, herbs and medicinal plants are something of a rarity to find, specially if you’re living in a city like Mumbai. So there’s good news for Mumbaikars who want to buy medicinal plants, fruit plants and spice plants such as Awla, aloe vera, cloves and mnago, as the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) authorities have decided to set up a nursery-cum-garden where they will grow such plants on a two-acre garden next to the Nature Information Centre.
A gardener plants medicinal plants at the nursery inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar
Vikas Gupta, SGNP director and chief conservation of Forests, told sunday mid-day, “We are aware that there are many plant nurseries in the city, but many people find it difficult to get herbs and medicinal plants. We decided to set up a nursery on a two-acre plot, which will not only give people a chance to buy the plants that are not easily available in the market, but also give them detailed information about the plant and its medicinal qualities.”
The work on the garden-cum-nursery began a month back and the landscaping work is also complete. Authorities came up with this concept as they had many visitors coming there in the hope of purchasing such plants. But at present, only show plants, common plants and flowering plants are available to purchase.
Another reason behind this concept was the authorities realised that although there are many roadside nurseries that sell medicinal plants, often, they are sold at much higher prices than their actual cost and people are fooled into buying them.
The SGNP authorities have already brought some samples of medicinal plants from the Forest Department nursery at Shahpur. In the future, the authorities also plan to take help from various forest departments of the country so that there can be a wider variety of plants available for purchase. “Many people inquire about medicinal plants, as they have recognised the importance of medicinal plants. The nursery that is being set up will help people in buying the plants they want to,” said an official from forest department.
The name of plants will be put up on a display board along with added information such as the scientific name of the plant, its benefits, and how it can be used.
>> Medicinal plants: Hirda, Behda, Awla, Deodhar, Rita, Shikakai, Tulsi, Neem, Aloe Vera, Shank Pushpi
>> Spice plants: Lavang (clove), Klaimeri, Tejpan, Hing, Jaiphal
>> Fruit plants: Mango, Orange, Mosambi, Pomegrenate, Jamun, Sitafal, Lemon, Chiku, Custard Apple, Anjeer