Musharaf Khan Research Paper

Medicinal Plant Research 2014, Vol.4, No.5, 35-45


fruits. Abelmoschus esculentus, Cassia fistula,

Citrullus lanatus, Citrus aurantifolia, Cucurbita

maxima, Cucurbita pepo,Ficus carica, Ficus religiosa,

Hordeum vulgare, Luffa cylindrical, Morus alba,

Morus nigra,Prunus persica,Punica granatum,

Zea mays and Ziziphus jujube are wild and cultivated.

Some of them are economically important, but in

terms of density and frequency, the wild fruit plants

are decreasing continuously due to biotic pressure

(Hussain et al., 1995; Sher et al., 2003; 2004; Hussain

et al., 2004; 2005; Gilani et al., 2003; Ibrar et al.,

2007). Punica serve as cash crops in the area.

Plants used in thatching, sheltering and roofing

The local people use leaves and branches of 15

(16.3%) plant species including Alhagi maurorum,

Cannabis sativa,Cassia fistula,Dodonaea viscose,

Eucalyptus camaldulensis,Ficus carica,Ficus

religiosa,Melia azedarach,Morus alba,Morus nigra,

Punica granatum, Saccharum spontaneum,Tam ar i x

indica,Zea maysand Ziziphus jujuba for thatching,

sheltering and roofing. Our findings agree with

Badshah et al. (1996), Gilani et al. (2003), Hussain et

al. (2005), Sher et al. (2004), and Ibrar et al. (2007)

who also observed some of the same plants for similar


Ornamental plant species

16 plant species (17.4%) were classified as ornamental

plants. Among them Cassia fistula,Citrullus lanatus,

Citrus aurantifolia,Cynodon dactylon, Dodonaea

viscose, Eucalyptus camaldulensis,Ficus carica, Ficus

religiosa, Melia azedarach, Mentha arvensis, Papaver

somniferum, Prunus persica,Punica granatum and

Rosa indica. Ornamental plants are commercially not

exploited but it can become a good source of income

generation. Rosa had the potential for comer-


Plants used in fencing and hedging

Livestock grazing is an important practice in the area

therefore the people protects their crop fields by

planting thorny, bushy or spiny plants around their

crop fields. There were 11 plants used for the purpose

of fencing and hedging in the area. It comprised 12%

of the total plants reported. Some important plants

used for this purpose were Calotropis procera,Cassia

fistula,Eucalyptus camaldulensis,Ficus religiosa,

Melia azedarach,Morus alba,Morus nigra,

Saccharum spontaneum, Sorghum halepense, Ta ma r ix

indica and Ziziphus jujuba.

Plants used in making agricultural appliances/tools

In many parts of the valley even today, agriculture is

carried out in primitive traditional way by using

traditional wooden/iron tools. The study recorded that

8 species (8.7%) were used for making agricultural

tools including ploughs, sticks, sickle handles, axe

handles, pullies, knife handles and other agricultural

appliances. Cassia fistula,Eucalyptus camaldulensis,

Ficus religiosa,Melia azedarach, Morus alba, Morus

nigra, Tamarix indicaand Ziziphus jujuba are

important in this respect.

Honeybee species

Honeybees visit 56 species (60.9%). The area is

famous for wild honeybee species. Abelmoschus

esculentus, Alhagi maurorum, Allium sativum,Avena

sativa,Calotropis procera,Cannabis sativa, Carthamus

oxycantha,Cassia fistula,Chenopodium album,

Chenopodium murale, Chrozophora oblique, Citrullus

lanatus,Citrus aurantifolia, Convolvulus arvensis,

Coriandrum sativum,Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo,

Eruca sativa,Ficus carica,Luffa cylindrical,Mentha

arvensis,Mentha longifolia,Momordica charantia,Morus

alba,Morus nigra,Oxalis corniculata,Papaver

somniferum,Prunus persica,Punica granatum,Ricinus

communis,Rosa indica,Saccharum spontaneum,

Solanum surattense,Sonchus asper,Spinacea oleracea,

Tribulus terrestris,Withania somnifera,Zea maysand

Ziziphus jujuba are important plant species for honey

bees. Honey obtained from Saccharumand Zizyphus

spp., is considered to be the best quality, which is

extensively used in the preparation of traditional

medicines and sold at higher rates.

Multi-purpose plant species

The inhabitants of the valley depend on plants for

their needs. Some 19 (20.7%) plant species are

multi-purpose species (Table 1). They include

Abelmoschus esculentus,Cassia fistula,Citrus

aurantifolia, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo,

Eruca sativa, Eucalyptus camaldulensis,Ficus carica,

Ficus religiosa,Luffa cylindrical, Melia azedarach,

4| Khan et al.

The biological spectrum showed that therophytes (16

spp., 29.6%), megaphanerophytes (14 spp., 25.9%).

nanophanerophytes (10 spp., 18.5%), chamaephytes

(06 spp., 11.1%), hemicryptophytes (05 spp., 9.26%),

geophytes (03 spp., 5.56%), had occurrence in the

investigated area. Leaf spectra ofplants consisted of

microphylls (50%), mesophylls (25.9%), leptophylls

(16.7%), nanophylls (5.56%) and megaphylls (1.85%).


Life forms of various species recorded from Coal Mine

area of Darra Adam Khel Hills were classified into

major life forms. A biospectrum is formed when all

the species of higher plants are classified into life

forms and their ratio expressed in number or

percentage (Saxina et al., 1987). Biological spectra are

useful in comparing geographically widely separated

plant communities and are also regarded as an

indicator of prevailing environment. Occurrence of

similar biological spectrum in different regions

indicates similar climatic conditions. According to

Raunkiaer (1934) the climate of a region, is

characterized by life form, while in biological

spectrum of the region exceeds the percentage of the

same life form. However, due to biological

disturbance the proportion of life forms may be

altered. Biological spectrum may be materially

changed due to introduction of therophytes like

annual weeds, due to biotic influences like agricultural

practices and grazing, deforestation and trampling


The dominance of therophytes (16 spp., 29.6%) in the

study area indicated that the investigated area was

under heavy biotic pressure due to deforestation and

over grazing. Generally, they were more abundant in

the spring as it reflected spring aspect. During spring

there is always a flush of annuals, which gives an

outlook to the community (Fig. 6). Similar trend

regarding prevalence of therophytes was observed by

Hussain et al. (1997 a, b). The dominance of

therophytes occurs due to un-favorable habitat

conditions, as confirmed by many studies (Shimwell

1971; Malik & Hussain 1990). Qadir and Shetvy (1986)

considered chamaephytes and therophytes as the

major life form in unfavorable environment in desert

region. In the investigated area dry conditions, low

temperature in winter, high temperature in summer,

wind and biotic factors result in un-favourable

conditions paving way for chamaephytes. Saxina et al.

(1987) stated that hemicryptophytes dominated

temperate and alpine zones in overlapping and loose

continuum. The present findings in this regard also

agree with them. Therophytes survive under adverse

condition through seeds production. The

predominance of therophytes in variable conditions

such as dry, hot or cold met for low to higher elevation

might be the reason for their higher percentage in the

present study.

Leaf size spectrum of the plant revealed that

microphyllous species followed by Mesophyll species

were dominant in spring and monsoon in the

investigated area. Microphylls are usually

characteristic of steppes, while nanophylls and

leptophylls are characteristic of hot deserts (Cainand

Castro, 1959; Tareen & Qadir, 1993). The present

study shows that leptophylls were high at the foot

hills, while microphylls and nanophylls were present

in high altitudes (1500 m). Species with largeleaves

occur in warmer moist climates while smaller leaves

are characteristic of cold and dry climates and

degraded habitats.

Fig 5. Vegetation on hill.

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