Shola Forests

The hill forests are locally known as ‘sholas’ the Tamil term for forest. The Shola forests in the upper plateau are dense and floristically rich with many endemic and rare species. The trees in the shoals from a continuous canopy usually not exceeding 10-15 m. There is no marked differentiation in to canopy layers. The tree bark is covered with lichens, orchids, mosses and climbers. The crowns are generally rounded and dense.

Common tree specis in the Shola forests are Pithecellobium subcoriaceum, Ixora notoniana, Syzygium arnottanum, Ilex denticulate, I. wightiana, Michaelia nilagirica, Elaeocarpus recurvatus, Muicrotropis ramiflora, Actinodaphne bourdellonii, and Symplocos pendula. The edge of the Shola are marked by trees such as Rhododendron 12nalyzing var. nilagiricum, Terntstroemia japonica, Ligustrum perrttettii, Turpinia cochinchinensis, Mahonia leshenaultii, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa,Berberis tinctoria, Vacccinium neilgherrense etc. and herbs and shrubs include Gaultheria fragramtiessima, Moonia hetrophylla, Jasminum bignoneacium, Smithia blanda, Venleriana hookeroana and a few spices of Strobilanthes. The undergrowth in the Shola is represented by Strobilanthes sp., Impatiens phoenicea, I. coelotropis Psychotria congesta, Viola patriinii, V. serpens, Asplenium sp., and Arumdomaria demsofolia. Epiphytic orchids in the shoals include Aerides ringens,Coelogyne nervosa.C. mossiae Eria dalzelli E. pauciflora and Schoenorchis filiformis. The common climbers are Piper schamidtii, Rubia cordifila and Connarus wightii Rapanea capillata, Vacinium 13nalyzing13tia impatiens tangachee, Sonerila grandiflora, Osmunda regalis and Eurya 13nalyzin are usually found along streams.