Vegetation of Madhya Pradesh

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Vegetation of Madhya Pradesh:-

Vegetation of Madhya Pradesh is an important arena of its natural wealth. The dense forests stretching over one-third of the state is the producer of India’s best teak wood. Madhya Pradesh has a distinctly diverse topography and hence a wide range of variation in the soil and vegetation.

The vegetation at the Bandhavgarh national Park in Madhya Pradesh, is quite luxuriant. The dominant vegetation in this region consists mostly of moist deciduous forests along with the bamboo thickets as well as the mixed forests. The most common tree in the the dry deciduous forests of this area is the Sal.The soil and vegetation lying on the riverbanks of the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, is extremely fertile.If you make a tour to the the Kanha National Park you will find it covered with bamboo thickets, Sal forests, grasslands and streams.The diversity in vegetation at the Kanha National Park enables a large variety of mammals, reptiles and birds to select the right natural abode.

The vegetation species commonly seen at the Kanha National Park include:-

  • Acacia torta
  • Bauhinia retusa
  • Butea menosperma
  • Anogeissus latifolia
  • Emblica officinalis
  • Maughania stricta
  • Pennisetum alopecurus
  • Cassia fistula
  • Phoenix acaulis
  • Shorea robusta
  • Dendrocalamus strictus

The state takes care of the trade of nationalised forest produce viz., Tendu Leaf, Sal Seed and Kullu Gum. In addition, a number of forest produce like Aonla, Harra, Lac, Achar, Mahua etc. are also being collected & traded through a network of Cooperative Societies. Aonla, Gum, Tendu Leaf, Sal seed, Harra and various medicinal plants of Madhya Pradesh are in great demand in national and international markets. Tendu leaf collection activities alone account for an income of about Rs. 145 crore every year to the forest dwellers.

Teak and Sal forests are the pride of the state. The Forest Department and the Forest Development Corporation have done extensive teak plantations during the last few decades. The dense forests of teak lie in Jabalpur, Seoni, Balaghat, Panna, Sehore, Dewas, Hoshangabad, Harda, Betul, Sagar, Chhindwara and Mandla districts. Similarly, the Sal forests are mainly located in Mandla, Dindori, Balaghat, Sidhi, Umaria, Anuppur and Shahdol districts. The geographical and biotic diversity of the state is well reflected in its 18 forest types ranging from thorn-forests to subtropical hill forests. The state is divided into 9 natural regions and 11 agro-climatic zones.

Classification of Forests:-

  • Reserved Forests
  • Protected Forests
  • Unclassified Forests

In the state, protected forests constitute 31098 sq km of the total forest area. Reserved forests are spread over 61886 sq km and unclassified forests cover an area of 1705 sq km.

The density of forests is not uniform in the state. Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Betul, Seoni, Chhindwara, Shahdol, Harda, Sheopur, Sidhi are some of densely forested districts. The forests of the state mostly lie in the southern and eastern belt; Sheopur and Panna being the notable exceptions. As per Champion & Seth Classification, the state has 18 forest types which belong to three forest type groups, viz. Tropical Moist Deciduous, Tropical Dry Deciduous and Tropical Thorn Forests. Percentage-wise distribution of forest cover in different forest type groups found in the state on the basis of the forest cover assessment is as below :-

  1. Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests:- 8.97%
  2. Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests:-   88.65%
  3. Tropical Thorn Forests:-   0.26%

Forest Produce:-

Timber- Bamboo:-

Every year the state produces more than 2.5 lakh cubic meter of timber,  two lakh cubic meter of fuel wood and about 65 thousand notional tonnes of bamboo. The  ‘Teak’   ( Tectona grandis)   timber   of Madhya Pradesh is world famous for texture, colour and grain qualities. It is best suited for furniture making and house construction.

Tendu Leaf:-

The state produces about 25 lakh standard bags of tendu leaves  every year,  which is about 30% of the national production. The state has a monopoly over collection  and trade of  tendu leaves.  The collection of tendu  leaf provides employment to about 15  lakh people during the hot summer season when employment   availability  in agriculture  is low. Tendu leaf collection operations  yield an income  of about Rs. 145 crore every year to the forest dwellers.

 Other Minor Forest Produce:-

The state has trade monopoly over sal seeds and kullu gum with an annual production of about 1200 tonnes and 300 tonnes respectively. The production  potential of Mahua and Aonla is 6000 tonnes and 5000 tonnes respectively. Besides being a pioneer in herbal production  and processing,  the State of Madhya Pradesh has also taken a lead in the utilization and value-addition of many other minor forest  produce.  Lac is one such produce,  which is becoming popular not only in India  but also in the International market.

Herbal Hub:-

Madhya Pradesh has been the main source of raw material to the processors of various herbs throughout the country whether based in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi or Kolkata. Needless to say that today huge demand of Indian herbal industry is met out by the herbal collection centres of Madhya Pradesh situated at Shivpuri, Betul, Katni, Neemuch etc. These centres together meet about 40% demand of the country. The natural occurrence of most of the herbs blended with mass scale cultivation of many herbs has made Madhya Pradesh the herbal hub of the country. From being a raw material bowl of the herbal industr y, Madhya Pradesh is all set to become the main processing centre for several herbal products. Here are some Major Points:-

  • Of the 131 agro  climatic  zones of the country, 11 fall in Madhya  Pradesh. It is a natural  habitat for over 50% of the herbs used in the pharma industry.
  • Abundant availability of raw Herbs.
  • Abundant land available for cultivation of various Herbs.
  • Large scale cultivation of a number of species has already been started which can further     be increased to a mass scale, as there is plenty of fertile land available.
  • Cheap land available  for  Industrial Operations.
  • Well connected by rail, road and air.
  • Single window clearance system for Drug license.
  • Preferential allotment of land in Industrial areas/growth centers.
  • Trained staff/manpower available.
  • Viable Herbal Processing Industries.


Major Medicinal Plants available in Madhya Pradesh:-

Acorus Calamus (Buch or Sweet Flag)

Aegle Marmelos (Bel)

Aloe Vera (Gwarpatha)

Andrographis Paniculata (Kalmegh)

Asperagus Racemosus (Satawar)

Azadiracta Indica (Neem)

Chlorophytum Borivilianum (Safed Musli)

Cymbopogom Martini (Lemon Grass)

Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemon Grass)

Cymbopogon Winterianus (Java Citronella)

Cyperus Rotundus (Nagarmotha)

Embelia Ribes (Baibidung)

Emblica Officinalis (Aonla)

Gymnema Sylvestre (Gudmar)

Jatropha Curcus (Ratanjot)

Ocimum Basilicum (Tulsi)

Phyllanthus Amarus (Bhui Amla)

Plantago Ovata (Isabgol)

Rauwolfia Serpentine (Sarpagandha)

Terminalia Arjuna (Arjun)

Terminalia Belerica (Baheda)

Terminalia Chebula (Harra)

Tinospora Cordifolia (Giloy)

Vetiveria Zizanioides (Khus)

Withania Somnifera (Aswagandha)


Crops of Madhya Pradesh:-

Major crops of Madhya Pradesh that are cultivated in the region comprise of Paddy, Wheat, Maize and Jowar among Cereals, Gram, Tur, Urad and Moong among Pulses, while Soybean, Groundnut and Mustard among Oilseeds. The major crops grown in this state of Central India also includes commercial crops like cotton and Sugarcane. These two significant cash crops are grown in a considerable area in few districts of Madhya Pradesh. Horticulture crops like Potato, Onion, Garlic, along with fruits like Papaya, Banana, Oranges, Mango and Grapes are also grown in the state of Madhya Pradesh. In some parts of the state medicinal crops and narcotic crops are also cultivated. Madhya Pradesh is primarily Kharif crops growing state. Kharif crops occupy about 54.25 percent whereas Rabi crops occupy about 45.75 percent area out of the total cropped area in the state. Near about 41 percent of the cropped area is generally occupied by cereal crops, while pulses occupy nearly 21 percent area and oilseed occupies about 27 percent of the total sown area. Vegetables, fruits, fodder and other horticultural crops occupy rest of around 11 percent land area. Wheat is the largest cultivated crop of Madhya Pradesh, followed by Paddy and Jowar.

The major crops of the state are categorised into three major types and these are Food Grains, Oilseeds and Cash Crops. Some of the major crops of Madhya Pradesh have been discussed below-


Wheat is considered as the major crop of the state in terms of area and production. Wheat occupies the highest area under Rabi crops. The wheat producing areas of Madhya Pradesh come under the wheat belt of the country, where about 75 cm to 127 cm rainfall occurs. Wheat is usually grown during October and November and harvested during February and March. The main wheat growing districts of the regions are Sehore district, Vidisha district, Raisen district, Shivpuri district, Gwalior, Ujjain, Hoshangabad district, Sagar district, Tikamgarh district, Satna district , and Indore district.


Paddy stands second after Wheat in terms of area coverage and production. Since this crop needs about 100 cm to 125 cm rainfall, it is grown only in the eastern part of Madhya Pradesh extensively. In other parts of the state, where irrigation facilities are available, paddy is grown. Another significant crop grown in Madhya Pradesh is rice. In this state, there are many agricultural colleges, which are working towards the qualitative and quantitative development of rice. About 2.50 hectares land of the state is irrigated for the cultivation of these major crops. The irrigated area under rice is available in Balaghat district, Jabalpur district, Gwalior district, and Bhind district. In the eastern zone, Satna district, Rewa district, Sidhi district, Shahdol district, Dindori district and Mandla district, in the southern zone Balaghat district, Seoni district, in the central zone Jabalpur, Damoh district, and in the northern zone Bhind district, Morena district, Gwalior district and Shivpuri district are the major rice producing areas.


Jowar is an important crop of Madhya Pradesh. It is a crop basically grown in the dry regions. It is grown in both Rabi and Kharif seasons. It is the main crop of the western region of the state. Jowar is sown during the outbreak of monsoon in between June and July and harvested in September and October. The climatic conditions are favourable for growing Jowar crops in the western part of the state. The main Jowar growing districts are Mandsaur district, Ratlam district, Ujjain, Rajgarh district, Shajapur district, Dewas district, Indore district, Khargone, Khandwa district, Shivpuri, Morena, Gwalior, Guna District, Bhind district, etc.


Another important crop of Madhya Pradesh is Gram, which is a Rabi crop. Sown in the month of October, it is harvested in March. The climate must be wet during the sowing period of Gram and during the harvesting period the climate should be dry. In Madhya Pradesh, different varieties of Gram are grown. The main gram producing areas in the state are Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur, Chhindwara district, Guna, Vidisha District, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Dhar district, Bhind, Morena, Shivpuri and Rewa district.


Groundnut is Kharif crop, which is used as oilseed. The production of groundnut in the state takes place in the Malwa plateau and low land of Narmada valley. The state ranks sixth in production of groundnut in India. The main groundnut growing districts are Mandsaur, Dhar, Ratlam, Khargone, Jhabua, Betul, Chhindwara, Ujjain, Rajgarh, and Shajapur.


Madhya Pradesh stands first in the production of Soyabean in India. The chief Soyabean producing districts are, Chhindwara, Seoni, Narsinghpur, Indore, Dhar, Ujjain, Ratlam, Shajapur, Guna, Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Jhabua, Vidisha, Mandsaur, Balaghat, Satna, Neemuch, Betul and Sheopur.


Cotton is the second largest cash crop after soyabean in Madhya Pradesh. The main cultivation areas of cotton are Khargone, Khandwa, Dhar, Indore, Ujjain, Dewas, Mandsaur, Ujjain, Shajapur, Ratlam, Sehore and Jhabua districts. The indigenous and American varieties, both are grown in the state. The Regur soilor Black soil of western region of Madhya Pradesh is favourable for the production of cotton.

Apart from the above mentioned, a range of other Crops are also cultivated in Madhya Pradesh that not only meet the local demand for food crops but also contributes to the national output.

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