Phytodiversity of dhauligiri hill and its adjoining area, Odisha, India: a floristic approach.
Dhauligiri hill (Latitude 20o112 32.633 N; Longitude 85o502 21.353 E) lying on the bank of the river Daya, is situated 8 km south of the state capital, Bhubaneswar in Odisha. The hill has historical significance for the site of famous Kalinga war and Buddhist monument, 'Shanti Stupa' or Peace Pagoda. Floristic study conducted in the area revealed that a total of 276 plant species belonging to 199 genera under 77 different families were recorded. Habit wise grouping showed that 86 (31%) were herbs followed by 54(20%) grasses, 51(19%) trees, 39(14%) shrubs, 19 (7%) climbers, 15 (5%) hydrophytes, 6(2%) pteridophytes, 3(1%) parasites, 2(1%) bryophytes and 1 gymnosperm. Among the families of plant species, Poaceae with 36 species was the dominant family followed by Cyperaceae (19), Euphorbiaceae (16), Fabaceae (14) and Asteraceae (11). Cyperus was the dominant genus with 13 species followed by Ficus (6), Phyllanthus (5) and Cassia, Crotalaria, Sida, Panicum (4) species each. Important medicinal plant species include Gymnema sylvestre, Saraca asoca, Tinospora cordifolia, Desmodium gangeticum, Evolvulus alsinoides, Wedelia chinensis, Bombax ceiba, Vetiveria zizanioides, Pandanus fascicularis, Andrographis paniculata, Adiantum phillippense, etc. Total 49 invasive alien species belonging to 43 genera under 25 families were documented. Invasive plant species include Eichhornia crassipes, Monochoria vaginalis, Lantana camara, Mikania micrantha, Parthenium hysterophorus, Emilia sonchifolia etc. Among the plants Wedelia chinensis, Anacardium occidentale, Panicum brevifolium, Saccharum spontaneum, Echinochloa colona, Parthenium hysterophorus and Blepharis maderaspatensis were predominant. Saraca asoca critically threatened species in Odisha and endangered species likeCrateva magna, Cycas circinalis (Endemic) and threatened species Microccocca mercurialis of Odisha were recorded. Uncommon plant species found were Kigelia africana, Limnophila heterophylla, Acacia obtusifolia, Hygrophila auriculata, Dentella repens, Hydrocera trifolia etc. The presence of rich phytodiversity and dense vegetation cover provides an excellent carbon sink to the city, Bhubaneswar.