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Floristic diversity of an urban environment: poisonous plants of Bhubaneswar smart city, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Life Science, Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Bhubaneswar-751022, India
  • 2Department of Life Science, Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Bhubaneswar-751022, India
  • 3Department of Life Science, Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Bhubaneswar-751022, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 6, Issue (1), Pages 41-52, January,22 (2017)

Abstract

Bhubaneswar, the modern capital of Odisha (an eastern Indian State) is widely known as the temple city of the East. Recently, it has been declared as the smart city by government of India under its smart city mission 2015. From a survey of waste lands, road sides, degraded forests and institutional areas of the city, a total of 52 species has been identified as poisonous plants showing toxicity towards human being and other animals. Argemone Mexicana, Calotropis gigantean, Colocassia esculenta, Datura stramonium, Euphorbia antiquorum, Thevetia nerifolia and Parthenium hysterophorus were the widely distributed toxic plants in the city ecosystem. Euphorbiaceae is the dominant family with the largest number of genera followed by Solanaceae (06) and Fabaceae (05). As far as toxic effect of plant parts is concerned, seeds and plant saps from 12 plant species; fruits, leaves, spines and stem from 11, 10, 07 and 6 species respectively show toxic effects. Looking into the phytochemicals responsible for toxicity, it has been noted that alkaloids were the dominant groups of chemicals as observed in 17 plant species followed by phenolic compounds such as glycoside, terpenoids, and esters. Besides toxicity, certain poisonous plants are also economically valuable because of their medicinal and food value. Apart from creating awareness and eradication of poisonous plants and their selective conservation has been discussed.

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