Consider the following:

  1. Cashew
  2. Papaya
  3. Red sanders

How many of the above trees are actually native to India?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Correct Answer: (a) Only one


  • Cashew: The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is native to Brazil. It was introduced to India by Portuguese colonists in the late 16th century.
  • Papaya: The papaya tree (Carica papaya) is native to southern Mexico and Central America. It was later spread to other tropical regions, including India.
  • Red Sanders: The Red Sanders tree (Pterocarpus santalinus), also known as Red Sandalwood, is native to India, specifically the southern parts of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.

Thus, only one of the trees listed is native to India.

Learn more

  • Cashew Tree:
    • Scientific NameAnacardium occidentale
    • Origin: Native to northeastern Brazil.
    • Introduction to India: Brought by Portuguese colonists in the late 16th century.
    • Uses: Cashew nuts are used in cooking and as snacks; cashew apples are used in beverages and jams. The tree also provides wood and resin for various industrial uses.
    • Cultivation: Grows in tropical climates with well-distributed rainfall. Major producers include India, Vietnam, and Brazil.
  • Papaya Tree:
    • Scientific NameCarica papaya
    • Origin: Native to southern Mexico and Central America.
    • Introduction to India: Spread to India through historical trade routes.
    • Uses: Papaya fruit is consumed fresh, in juices, and in various culinary dishes. It is rich in vitamins and enzymes beneficial for digestion.
    • Cultivation: Grows in tropical and subtropical climates. Major producers include India, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • Red Sanders Tree:
    • Scientific NamePterocarpus santalinus
    • Origin: Native to the southern Eastern Ghats of India.
    • Uses: The wood is highly valued for its rich red color and is used in furniture, musical instruments, and traditional medicine. The tree also produces a red dye.
    • Conservation Status: Listed as endangered due to over-exploitation and habitat loss. Protected under various national and international regulations.

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