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ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Chinar, Oriental plane • Hindi: चिनार Chinar • Urdu: Chinar چنار • Nepali: चिनार Chinaar
Botanical name: Platanus orientalis    Family: Platanaceae (Chinar family)

Chinar is a very large, widespreading, and long-lived deciduous tree. The native range of Chinar includes at least Eurasia from the Balkans to the Himalaya in the east. Its leaves are borne alternately on the stem, deeply 3, 5 or 7 lobed, and palmate or maple-like, with coarsely toothed margins. It usually has flaking bark, occasionally not flaking and becoming thick and rugged. Flowers and fruit are round and similar to those of Kadam, borne in clusters of between 2 and 6 on a stem. The leaves and bark have been used medicinally. A fabric dye has been made from the twigs and roots. The timber, often called lacewood, is figured and valuable for indoor furniture. From earliest days, Chinar has been an important tree in Persian gardens, which are built around water and shade. An tiny island in the Dal lake in Sringa r, is called Char-Chinar because of the four Chinar trees there. Chinar tree is an integral part of Kashmiri culture. Almost every village in the valley has a Chinar tree.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Srinagar, Kashmir.

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