Our planet supports various life forms in addition to the human beings. Its favorable climate conditions and atmosphere are chiefly responsible for its life-bearing characteristics. In the entire solar system, ours is the only planet that can bear life on it. It isn’t only the human beings that live on the planet. A lot many species of plants and animals to co-exist with us.
These plants and animals are beneficial to us in innumerable ways. As a matter of fact, life on this planet would be impossible without the plant and animal kingdom to sustain our living.
It is high time we understand this and make our efforts to preserve various species of plant and animal kingdom.
Trees, for example, are highly essential for our survival. Right from the shade, wood, paper, food items all come from the trees.
With depleting forest reserves, the planet has got a huge concern awaiting bad drastic consequences. Various species of the plant kingdom are highly important for us and thus in-depth studies are being carried out to understand them better.
In the following article, you will be acquainted with a tropical deciduous evergreen tree called as the mitragynine speciosa or popularly known as Kratom.
It is also spelled as ketum, kratom and a few other variations of the same.
Kratom belongs to the coffee family of trees, the scientific name being Rubiaceae. It is a popular topic of discussion amongst scientists who are trying to understand it better and make the best use of it.
The tree is native to the Southeast Asian region, the Indochina as well as the floristic regions of Malesia.
It is one of the most characteristic stresses of the region and was grown on a large scale basis in the forests there.
The tree can get quite tall in height and reach limits of over 9 meters too and about 3.5 meters on the lower side. Its width too spans about 4 to 5 meters thus making it a normal tree as far as size is concerned.
Some species of Kratom have been proven to grow quite tall and reach as much as 20 meters in height. Although, it is quite rare and usually the tree height spans between 4 to 9 meters.
The tree is of a versatile nature and this is evident in the fact that it can be either a deciduous tree of an evergreen tree and this greatly depends upon the climate it is being grown.
The environmental conditions to have been proven to have an influence in determining its deciduous or evergreen nature.
The stem of the tree stand erect and has its branches. Its leaves are dark green and their average size if 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. They are of ovate-acuminate shape.
Its first formal recognition came from the Dutch scientist Pieter Korthals. It was named Mitragyna by Pieter because upon his examination of the first species the stigma resembled the shape of a meter.
Mitragyna speciosa is indeed native to Thailand and grows naturally in various places in the country. In spite of this, the tree has been forbidden by the law of the country for over 70 years now.
It must take you by surprise that a country has banned its own tree and this for over 7 decades now! Well, the reason for the ban was quite straight forward.
The tree and the benefits it was offering were significantly impacting the optimum distribution.
The Thai government collects tax revenues from the opium distribution which was being hurt deeply by Kratom as it proved to be causing a reduction to the Thai government’s revenues in the form of tax.