(Last Updated on : 15-07-2015)
The flora of Wayanad is distinctive because of the Western Ghats
and because of the plantation crops that are grown in the cool climate. A major portion of the district is enclosed by coffee
. Trees of the wild type like rosewood, anjili or Artocarpus, mullumurikku or Erthrina, several species of caussia and many other non-descript varieties are still preserved here and there, the main purpose behind this is to give shade to the coffee plants.
These trees try to balance the wasteland to the landscape of Wayanad. In a majority of coffee plantations, the age-old species are replaced by the silver-oak, which is suited to the cold climate. This tree grows quickly and its cultivation is widespread among coffee plantations for shade and for giving support to pepper. It is used for the plywood industry and so this is economical to the farmers. Eucalyptus grandis, which is a shorter variety of eucalyptus, and whose fragrant smell changes the air surrounding it, is cultivated on a large scale in certain parts of the district. Eucalyptus oil is extracted on commercial basis from its leaves.
Teak plantation takes the major part out of the 20,864 hectares of reserve forest. Areca nut, palms and jack trees are also grown here. Tea is grown as an industry in large estates. For horticulture also the soil and climate of Wayanad are very much suitable on commercial basis.
Agricultural University is running a Regional Agricultural Research Station at Ambalavayal for promoting the cultivation of vegetables and orchards. With the clearing of forests, the varied and vibrant animal life, which was the characteristic of the forests of Western Ghats, has nowhere to be found in Wayanad. But one can still see the bonnet monkeys, loris, mongooses, jungle cats, squirrels, jackals, hares, etc. in the limited forest areas. Elephant, bear and other wild animals from the neighboring wild life sanctuaries of Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu
, wander away into the Begur forest range and the forests around Muthanga, which is 20 kilometres away from the town of Sulthan Bathery.