The Delhi NCR area has an abundance of Keekar trees (Prosopis juliflora). Fast growing tree it is, but the resin of the tree does not encourage other vegetatation around it. Delhi seed bank and BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) are undertaking a
project to encourage Shami/Shammi (Khejri) or Prosopis cineria in the NCR area.
"Shami Tree" festival was organized by the CEC, BNHS in Delhi on 29th July, 2018. A tree plantation drive was also organized for ardent nature lovers who want to see Delhi turn into a green capital. It was a privilege to attend the festival.
This plantation drive was named as Shami tree festival to give importance to the Khejri tree (Prosopis cineria) also called as Shammi tree.
Referred to as the golden tree of Indian deserts, the Khejri tree (Prosopis cineria) also called as Shami/Shammi tree, plays a vital role in preserving the ecosystem of arid and semi-arid areas. People down the ages have held this tree as sacred. In June,
1661, two women of Bishnoi community from Jodhpur district laid down their lives in protest against the cutting of khejri trees. Again in July, 1787, more than 300 people, including women and children, sacrificed their lives to save khejri trees from the King
The Wonder tree holds religious, cultural and medicinal significance.
Khejri tree provides shelter and protection to animals and birds in desert areas. This tree is home to many large birds like kites, hawks and vultures.Many Rajasthani families use the green and unripe pods (known as sangri) in preparation of curries and
pickles. The importance of the medicinal value of shami tree has been highlighted in our ancient literature.
See a video we made on the Shami festival on 29th July, 2018