Biocultural Diversity of the Endemic ‘Wild Jack Tree’ on the Malabar Coast of South India

Sam P. Matthew, A. Mohandas, S. M. Shareef, G. M. Nair


Artocarpus hirsutus Lam. is an endemic tree species of
the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India. It is popularly
known as the ‘wild jack tree”. Several attributes in
art, culture and socio-economic civilization among the folk
communities in Kerala state (Malabar coast) distinguish
the tree in the history of Indian civilization. Most of the traditional
uses and indigenous know-how earlier referred to
this species are vanishing. This article discusses various
aspects of the popular wild jack tree of the Malabar coast
and its vanishing indigenous biocultural diversity among
the folk communities of the region.

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