Conocarpus is a tree that is mostly found in the tropical region these tropical areas are found near the equator where these areas receive direct sunlight and are hotter than the other regions. Conocarpus belong to the family of Combretaceae. It is planted for ornamental purposes. The fruits of Conocarpus are button-like and mostly red. According to the IUCN red data book it is included in the list of Threatened species (species that are at the risk of endangerment in the future). Conocarpus trees are of two types including the Erectus and Lencifolius. These grow fast at high temperatures mostly in summer while stop growing in cold winter.
Advantages of Conocarpus
- Conocarpus is a beautiful tree which is why is is usually used in beautification purposes by the city authorizes especially around roads, as this tree can be easily trimmed and is easy to maintain.
- Mostly these trees are planted on the roadside, gardens, and on entrance for the purpose of decoration, and are molded in different shapes like a square, pyramid, or any other geometrical shape.
- Its leaves and barks contain tannins that are used for dying purposes. The tannins contained by the bark have also medicinal properties.
- Like any other plant it is effective in capture of Carbon Dioxide and releasing Oxygen into the atmosphere. Leaves of the Conocarpus are used as feed for cattle.
Disadvantages of Conocarpus
- Research by the department of botany at the University of Karachi shows that Conocarpus is most frequent in September and October and increases in the number of asthma patients in these months. It produces pollens and these pollens are considered as responsible for the pollution.
- When talking to a news outlet, a Pakistani researcher Dr. Anjum Parveen stated that Conocarpus plant species causes pollen allergy among people, therefore a ban on planting of this species needs to be imposed because of its harmful effects towards the general public. According to another Pakistani researcher, Dr. Zafar Iqbal Shams, concarpus is suitable for coastal areas but not for arid zones as it takes up large amounts of water. However, mass cutting down of these trees in Karachi in a short span of time would result in an increase in Karachi’s temperature, so he advised against cutting down of these trees as well as against planting more concarpus trees.
- Mostly it is advised that do not plant Conocarpus near the building because of its radical water system, which causes damage to infrastructure, water pipes, and drainage. In addition, experts have labeled it as harmful to Karachi’s environment.
Solutions To The Problems Posed By Conocarpus
- Stop Planting this tree in arid areas.
- Stop cutting down Conocarpus, but don’t plant any more Conocarpus trees either.
- Do not plant trees near houses, buildings, or roads.
- Try to not plant the Conocarpus tree in the place where water pipes are nearby.
Should we Stop planting it?
Do not grow any plant species without getting the proper knowledge about it. The public must have to avoid plant Conocarpus until the decision of the government as we know it provides us benefits but also cause harmful effect on the environment as well as on humans.
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The article was written by Fizza Dawood from Plantee; I am a student of Botany. I want to share information on invasive, endangered, threatened species of plants according to the IUCN red data book.
Plantee is an initiative by a group of Botany students from Karachi whose main aim is to share information about invasive, endangered or threatened species of plants especially in Karachi, Pakistan. Plantee is a contributor to Envpk.com – Pakistan’s leading and only dedicated resource for environmental news and articles.