Conocarpus tree harmful effects on urbanscape

conocarpus tree harmful effects
Image by: Louis Raymond  

Conocarpus tree harmful effects- read in detail why states in India are banning it.

Conocarpus tree is a genus of angiosperm (flowering plant group)  in the family of Combretaceae. 

Conocarpus erectus is native to Bermuda Bahamas West Indies South Africa South Gulf of Mexico Caribbean, the coast of Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and Senegal.

Due to its fast-growing nature, good straight look, it got. Famous among the government bodies as well as in real estate and some private properties.

It is estimated that generally, it grows approx 25-30 feet tall in a height per year. While other commonly seen avenue tree species takes at least 5-y year to reach such height.

The most famous varieties of Conocarpus are C. eretus and C.  lancifolius. 

Whereas Conocarpus lancifolius native places are countries like Yemen and Somalia.

Meanwhile, this plant/tree was widely used by Arabian countries to block sand from desert storms. 

Conocarpus lancifolius

Also known as Buttonwood is one species out of two from One Genus Conocarpus. Its family is Combretaceae. Its natives are Yemen Djibouti and the coastal area of Somalia.

Its Somali Name is GHALAB and its Arabic name is DAMAS.

This also has a high drought tolerance

Pest resistance is also good for some serious pets around.

It got planted in bulk in cities like Ahmadabad, Vadodara, and Rajkot in Gujarat

Pune city in Maharashtra also.

Conocarpus erectus (buttonwood)

It’s native to Florida, The Caribbean, and South America.

Its usability is Screen, clipped hedge, and Specimen planting.

Usually, it thrives in most of the soil like Clay, Sand, Loam, Alkaline, Acidic, Wet, and Well-drained.

Its Drought tolerance is high.

Slowly its drawbacks started to surface in the last two years but during this year it got more attention from the public, experts, and government bodies that they can be a loss of health, groundwater obstacles in civil structures, etc.

In Arabian countries, it got planned more as to stop moving forward desert.

Why it got famous

Attractive leaves, speedy growth, nearly very little maintenance tree, grow vertically in most cases, and can be easily pruned and shaped as per the topiary requirement of gardening projects of urban building projects, city plannings, and gardens.

such features made it famous for some real estate developers as well as some city municipalities in Gujarat.

Study case of conocarpus in India. 

Before its removal from Gujarat, the city of  Pune in the state of Maharashtra, the Pune Municipal Corporation also removed plants from the city of the Conocarpus. 

Some research botanists draw the attention of the authorities to discuss the tree. Particularly its demerits to the authorities. This tree has pollen that is not good for health and its roots can damage pipelines and drainage systems in the urban areas. 

This tree became famous due to its widespread quick-growth nature. It grows very fast and attends a height of 10 to 15 feet within 2 years of years of span.


It has less water requirement and grows erect best on roadside peripheral landscaping planning a dark green look. 

It tolerates high as well as low temperatures and gets established in sandy as well as clay soils. The reason it got expansion to rise in planting projects in cities is due to its ability to grow within conditions like vehicle traffic areas, chimneys, and oil refineries. 

Getting in such a situation also. It has some good advantages but the authority has come to know that it has negative effects on urban infrastructure its small roots easily penetrate the granite pipeline and also can damage drainage and the Underground system.


Leaves have bacteria and dust which cause different types of allergies. Particularly sensitive body skins and some sources say it’s Poland because of breathing problems also.

Why it’s banned-Conocarpus tree harmful effects

However, its roots can damage telecommunication lines, pipes in underground systems, and drainage lines. Conocarpus has adverse effects on health like cough, cold, asthma, and allergies.

When the tree starts blooming pollen causes allergies which is harmful for allergic and asthma patients. Because large plantations float more pollen in the air. Mostly they are planted in hundreds and thousands of quantities. Like road dividers, green belt plantations, etc.

But later it was found that it may consume thousands of liters of water per day which is more on the higher side compared to other regular trees. so large plantations can cause scarcity of underground water in the long run.

It found that birds do not make nests on this tree, and also found that goats do not eat its leaves

But still, it’s a matter of detailed research.

Conocarpus tree harmful effects like it has allergic pollen discharge from the flowers, which causes respiratory problems in humans like asthma, allergies, etc.

Most birds do not prefer to make their nest on this tree.

Even this tree doesn’t get most of the pests.

Deep root systems damage the city’s underground pipelines, and cables system and use much fresh (Underground) water reserves below the land

Reference :

Why Gujarat’s ban on the invasive Conocarpus plant may be futile


Gujarat bans plantation of Conocarpus trees citing environment, health hazard

Conocarpus Tree in Telangana: Dangerous Threat..!?

In which state Conocarpus is banned in India?

Gujarat, Pune (Maharashtra), and Telangana.

Why it’s banned in India?

Its roots can damage telecommunication lines, pipes in underground systems, and drainage lines. Conocarpus has adverse effects on health like cough, cold, asthma, and allergies.

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