Monday, May 2, 2011

Flora from Ganeshgudi

When I asked Karthik to help me identify some species of flora I had photographed at Ganeshgudi, he helped me out, as always. Also, he suggested that I should read up about these species online and write a short post on them. Here it is.

Wagatea spicata / Moullava spicata --


Commonly known as the Candy Corn Plant, it is a robust creeper known to grow 5-20 m long. It belongs to the Gulmohar family Caesalpiniaceae. It is a native species and flowers all through the year. The specimen I photographed was quite high up and I happened to notice it thanks to a Black Lored Tit and a Greenish Warbler that kept hopping around the flowers. 
Colorful, bright flowers appear at the end of branches, between 30-60 cms in length. The flowers are scarlet and yellow in color and do not open. Pods are oblong and hard. Leaves are double pinnate and each leaf has 5-7 pairs of leaflets. The roots of W.spicata are known to be used to treat pneumonia and tuberculosis. In Kannada, this plant is called 'gajjigaballi'.


Calycopteris floribunda --


Commonly known as the Paper Flower Climber, it is a large climbing shrub upto 5-10 meters long and has vines that are 2-4 inches in diameter. Some sections of the vine store water and forest dwellers are known to depend on this vine for water during the dry summer season. This species is largely found in the low-lying tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats. It is a native species and flowers all through the year. It bears grey bark and tenuous branches with thick fluff on the surface. Flowers appear in dense clusters at the end of the branches and are bright green in color. 
At Ganeshgudi, we always spotted Scarlet Minivets amidst these flowers. The mix of yellow-scarlet-black-green made for a delightful sight.


The leaves have medicinal qualities and are used as laxatives to clear intestinal worms. The fruits too are used to treat jaundice, ulcers and skin diseases. 


Entada --


Entada is a genus of flowering plants from the pea family Fabaceae. These creepers have long stemmed, thick, woody vines that grow vertically to reach out to the canopy so that they can access more light. 
What sets these creepers apart are seed pods - the sheer size of the seed pods will grab your attention even amongst dense canopy. The first time I noticed an Entada creeper was in the Bhadra Tiger reserve. I remember, the seed pods were atleast 2 feet long!
 


Many plants of the Entada species are known to have medicinal properties and some of the seeds are sought after as pieces of jewellery and good-luck charms.


Until next time, here are some first flush of leaves basking in the early morning Sun.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Radha...

    Nice info.... also can u help me identify this - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhharan/5456479374/in/photostream

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  2. @Hariharan .. thank you! that's a Peace Lily.. You can read more at this link.. http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Peace%20Lily.html

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  3. Thnks again for this good info :)

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  4. Excellent pics as always, and I really love the fact that we are looking at things other than tigers and birds, too :)

    Only thing is, I don't know if I can id all the plants from these photos; will have to physically see them a few times before being able to do that!

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  5. @Deepa .. thank you Deepa :) If I'm with you when we see one of these next, I'll remember to point them out :)

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  6. The long seed pods are remarkable.

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  7. radha, i love it., that u are giving these "taken for granted " little beauties ,,their deserved limelight ,by informing us more about them...i must have countless times passed by..now it will be with a revered glance...
    i wish u would put the common names on top...and the " scientific alphabet soup" names below...helps .

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  8. @Neelu - thank you!!
    since these species don't have fixed common names, I just stuck to the scientific names :)

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  9. Hi Radha. Are you the one who wrote article on bangalore flowering trees that was posted in Yahoo ? Can you let me know where can we buy saplings of these flowering trees in bangalore. You can reach me at btogarrathi@gmail.com.

    Thanks.

    Bharat
    Hyderabad

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  10. Amazing Pictures... Love them :)

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