Mussoorie is home to thick perennial forest cover full of deodar, oak,
rhododendron trees. Mussoorie takes its name from an abundant shrub in the
area called Mansoor (Cororianane Palensis). Apart from ubiquitous oak,
deodar and rhododendron these are the few shrubs you will see in and
Wild berries like Mansoor (after which Mussoorie is named), Hissar
(Raspberry and Blackberry), Kaafal (an indigenous red sweet berry) and
Kingod (Blueberry) can be seen hanging in bunches. Children and local adult
alike munch on these gifts from nature and enjoy the free things in life.
Blackberry (Kala Hissar)Yes, the original not the mobile phone. This wild berry is one of the familymembers of berries. Rubus Fructicosus is a perennial shrub found in moist
and shady part of the area. It Is a wonder plant since all of the parts are used.
It is rich in vitamin C and also considered for its antiseptic, antibacterial and
Men use it for making homemade wine in villages in nearby areas. It usually
in full bloom during monsoons and if you are can locate it, you should
certainly savour the fruit as it is eaten by women and children apart from birds
in the area.
This sweet-sour tasting shrub can be seen a lot of places on route to Gun-
Hill. This is in full bloom during April-May and is a rich source of Vitamin C.
Fondly eaten by birds and children alike.
Kafal (Myrica esculenta)
Kafal is a large tree found adjacent to the hills of Mussoorie. The fruit is
globose red, succulent. They are of two colour whitish grey and red. The fruit
is semi-edible and full of vitamin C.
Barberry, not to be confused with famous fashion brand Burberry! Is a shrub
with sweet and sour purple, red fruits. The berries are a rich source of vitamin
C. It is also applied to a cloth for joint pains. It is antibacterial and the juice
can cure skin inflammations. It is also used by children for making pranks and
playing practical jokes on their mothers by squeezing the juice (looks like
blood) as making it look like a cut. It is made into a delicacy to enjoy as a
pastime by mixing them it with salt and oil.
Also known as bicchu ghas is found in abundance in Hills in and around
Mussoorie. It is a very useful edible wild grass, which is part of local cuisine.
The leaves are made into a “saag” or curry and have a unique bitter bland
taste. The leaves are rich in and eaten after a long cooking process. Although
they look harmless, on watching closely you can see small needles like tubes
on them, these contain a very potent irritant which if touched gets into your
body and produces a very strong burning sensation. Sometimes the reaction
is so strong that your body produces rashes. If accidentally rubbed against or
deliberately touched fret not, as its antidote is just nearby known as pahadi
palak. This pahadi palak should be squeezed and rubbed onto the effective
area and miraculously the burning sensation subsides. Ask any hill kid and he
must have got beaten up by it or his/her mother would have surely threatened
to use it against him/her.
The fibre derived from the plant is also used to make clothes and shawls and
can be bought in some handicraft shops at the Mall.
Apart from these Pine, Bimal, Cypress trees and many Himalayan wildflowers
can be seen in full bloom in Monsoon in Mussoorie.