200-year-old tree grabs eyeballs at MMC

Chennai: Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday unveiled a plaque detailing the characteristics of a 200-year-old Baobab tree at the Madras Medical College (MMC) in the city.

Sources said a search for historical information on its heritage structures led authorities to a nearly 200-year-old Baobab tree on campus.

The college displayed the information about the tree and its significance in the form of a plaque unveiled by the Chief Minister at the MMC campus in the presence of Health Minister Ma Subramanian and Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan.

Known taxonomically as Adansonia digitata, the tree is native to the African continent and was believed to be planted here by the British, the sources said.

‘We have a heritage group comprising of faculty members who are MMC alumni. We were collecting information on our heritage structures such as the Red Fort, erstwhile Anatomy Block, as there are plans to set up a museum., when we came across information on the Baobab tree that is nearly 200 years old’, the sources said.

‘We started looking for information and found that this tree had specific features, including a hollow trunk,’ they said.

The tree was was 19.8 m tall and 37 m in girth. ‘We came across information that the tree’s leaves were rich in Vitamin-C and was used as food and medicine in Africa. It had other uses as well,’ MMC Dean Dr Theranirajan said. MMC has also set up an on-campus ‘selfie spot’.

 

NT Bureau