‘World’s largest seed’ a draw at Kumbh Mela

The New Indian Express - - INDIA -

AN ex­hi­bi­tion by the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, which among other things dis­plays a dou­ble co­conut palm seed weigh­ing 30 kg, is at­tract­ing many at the Kumbh Mela. A Botan­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (BSI) sci­en­tist claimed that the seed is the world’s largest. Dr Shiv Ku­mar of the BSI said the seed be­longed to a tree planted at the Acharya Ja­gadish Chan­dra Bose In­dian Botanic Gar­den near Kolkata in 1894. The tree had flow­ered af­ter 112 years, Ku­mar said. The tree, which is now grown only in two African is­lands, is on the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture’s global Red Data list for species un­der threat. The dou­ble co­conut palm tree has a life­span of 1,000 years and takes a decade to flower. An orchid seed, mea­sur­ing 799 mi­crons, is also on dis­play at the ex­hi­bi­tion. The seed is so tiny that one can­not see it with­out us­ing a mi­cro­scope. The pic­ture of a gi­ant banyan tree, touted as the world’s largest, is also at­tract­ing vis­i­tors. Ac­cord­ing to Dr Ku­mar, the tree does not have the main branch since 1925. The ex­hi­bi­tion aims at cre­at­ing aware­ness about for­est re­sources in the coun­try. The Kumbh Mela com­menced on Jan­uary 15 on Makar Sankranti and Ma­hashiv­ra­tri on March 4 will mark its cul­mi­na­tion. PTI

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