Flora

The flora of Chinnar Sanctuary includes a stunning variety of flowering plants numbering upto 965 species. Rare medicinal plants, many of them endemic to the Western Ghats, can also be found in the sanctuary.  

The vegetation of the sanctuary falls under six categories (according to Champion and Seth, 1968, and Chandrasekaran, 1962). They are Southern tropical thorn forest (Scrub jungle), Southern dry mixed deciduous forest (Dry deciduous forest), Southern moist mixed deciduous forest (Moist deciduous forest), Tropical riparian fringing forest (Riparian forest), Southern montane wet temperate forest (Hill shola forest) and Southern montane wet grassland (Grasslands).

The predominant vegetation is dry deciduous forest followed by scrub forest. Together they constitute about half of the total area which is in the low altitude areas. The riparian fringing forests are found on the hill folds and shola forests constitute a small portion.
 
The major species found in the sanctuary are given below according to the type of vegetation.

Southern tropical thorn forest (Scrub jungle): Acacia spp., Euphorbia spp., Capparis spp., Opuntia spp., Ziziphus spp., Grewia spp., Cordia spp., Albizia amara, Atalantia monophylla, Pleiospermium alatum, Prosopis juliflora, Dichrostachys cinerea, Diospyros cordifolia, Pisonia aculeate, Carissa carandas, Strychnos potatorum, Ceropegia juncea, Pergularia daemia, Caralluma spp. and  Helixanthera spp.

Southern dry mixed deciduous forest (Dry deciduous forest): Anogeissu latifolia, Chloroxylon swietenia, Hardwickia binata, Boswellia serrata, Santalum album, Cassia fistula, Sterculia urens, Sapindus emarginatus, Canthium coromandelicum, Tarenna asiatica, Dodonaea angustifolia, Garuga floribunda and Shorea roxburghii.

Southern moist mixed deciduous forest (Moist deciduous forest): Grewia tiliifolia, Schleichera oleosa, Wrightia tinctoria, Bridelia crenulata, Buchanania lanzan, Pterocarpus marsupium, Gmelina arborea, Sterospermum colais, Albizia odoratissima, Premna tomentosa, Atalantia racemosa, Cipadessa baccifera, Clerodendrum serratum, C. viscosum, Helicteres isora, Desmodium velutinum, Indigofera pulchella, Rhinacanthus nasutus and Justicia betonica.

Tropical riparian fringing forest (Riparian forest): Terminallia arjuna, Hopea parviflora, Bischofia javanica, Mangifera indica, Drypates roxburghii, Vitex leucoxylon, Pongamia pinnata, Garcinia gummi-gutta, Mallotus stenanthus, Calophyllum calaba, Entada rheedei, Lepisanthes tetraphylla, Syzygium cumini, Schefflera racemosa, Homonoia riparia, Vitex altissima, Salix tetrasperma and Gnetum ula.

Southern montane wet temperate forest (Hill shola forest): Syzygium spp., Elaeocarpus recurvatus, Actinodaphne malabarica, Agrostistachys indica, Fagraea ceilanica, Cryptocarya anamallayana, Calamus gamblei, Pittosporum spp., Gordonia obtuse, Mallotus tetracoccus, Aglaia elaeagnoidea, Gomphandra coriacea, Microtropis parviflora, Meliosma pinnata, Rhodomyrtus tomentosus, Mussaenda tomentosa, Ardisia pauciflora, Cinnamomum verum, Litsea wightiana, Cassine paniculata and Ficus amplocarpa.

Southern montane wet grassland (Grasslands): Arundinella mesophylla, A. setosa, Apluda mutica, Ischaemum nilagiricum, Setaria pumila, Themeda triandra, Cymbopogon flexuosus, Echinochloa colona, Digitaria wallichiana, Chrysopogon zeylanicus, Viola betonicifolia and Pimpinella candolleana. Exotics: Lantana spp., Parthenium hysterophorus, Argemone mexicana, Vicoa India, Euphorbia spp. and Chromolaena odorara.



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