Table of Contents
Grewia optiva Drum. ex Burret. Family
Grewia optiva Drum. ex Burret. English Name
Grewia optiva Drum. ex Burret. Local Name
Pharawa, Dhamman, Bhimal
Grewia optiva Drum. ex Burret. Description
A moderately fast growing, small to medium sized, deciduous tree. It reaches heights of 10 to 12 m with diameters of 3 to 4 cm. The leaves are simple 3.5 to 10 cm by 2 to 6.5 cm. They are slightly pointed, and the edges are toothed. Each leaf has 3 distinct veins. The bark is white-grey and smooth when young becoming furrowed with age. The flowers which grow out the branches opposite the leaves are fragrant, white, yellow to red in color. The fruit is a lobed drupe, each lobe 4 to 6 mm in diameter. The fruit is dark green turning to black when ripe. Flowers occur from April to September, while fruit matures between July and December. It appears to be disease and insect free. It is reproduced from cuttings and root suckers, and rarely from seed. Seeds have a very low viability. Diameter growth of 0.7 cm/yr has been observed. It has spiral grains. Wood is whitish grey in colour, moderately hard and strong.
Grewia optiva Drum. ex Burret. Distribution
The tree is native to Pakistan, India and Nepal. In Pakistan it is common on both sides of the Indus. Natural stands are found in the hills of Balochistan. NWFP, Punjab, and Azad Kashmir. It has also been successfully cultivated in the plains. A strongly intolerant tree that grows well on well drained sandy to sandy loam soils and can tolerate droughty sites. It is adapted to a precipitation zone of 750 to 1200 mm/yr with prolonged periods of drought. It has a temperature range of -10 to 40°C and is frost hardy. It prefers a sub-humid, cool to semi-arid, warm sub-tropical winter/monsoon climate, usually at elevations from 500 to 2500 m.
Grewia optiva Drum. ex Burret. Uses
This is a very valuable tree as it produces both food and fodder and will grow on poor, and draughty sites. It is sometimes considered an “evergreen” because as the old leaves drop new leaves develop. It is a critical source of fodder in the colder periods of the year. The fodder is highly palatable and is used for forage in the sub-mountainous regions. Also used in tool handles, agriculture implements, fodder, food (fruit), and cordage. The inner bark is also used to make rope. A good farm forestry tree.