Disappearance of Commiphora wightii (synonym-Commiphora mukul) over larger areas due to crude and destructive tapping for obtaining more and more oleo-gum resin in the Indian arid zone has attracted the attention of researchers and planners alike. Consequently, placing it in ‘Data Deficient’ category of International Union for Conservation of Nature requires detailed information on its spatial distribution and other related aspects. Many researchers in the recent past have generated enormous information on almost all aspects of C. wightii covering taxonomy, ultrastructure, tapping, regeneration, survival and spread. This information is scattered and needs to be related to the conservation efforts. Hence, we have attempted to review the entire gamut of information in this paper. This has revealed that genus Commiphora has worldwide distribution in tropical-subtropical climates and its other species besides C. wightii also yield oleo-gum resin of export value. Whether this oleo-gum resin has same medicinal properties, as that from C. wightii is yet to be confirmed. Source and location of oleo-gum resin in plant system is well understood: it is synthesized in leaves but placed in phloem. Cuts deeper than phloem injure the plant vasculature, ultimately killing the plant. All research so far has been directed to know how to save it while extracting oleo-gum resin and also increase its population in nature. This review presents a synthesis of all this information to have deeper understanding of the issues concerning sustained yield of oleo-gum-resin as well as its conservation.
Key words: Commiphora wightii, conservation, data deficient, ole-gum-resin, spatial distribution, tapping.
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