Monday, November 17, 2014

East Indian Screw Tree

 Helicteris isora, the East Indian Screw tree has attractive orange flowers. The fruit of the tree is curiously shaped like a screw. The tree is a small one, more like a bush.When in flower, the tree is abuzz with honeybees.
The roots of this tree are used to treat stomach ailments like colic and gastritis.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wildflower Rhynchoglossum notonianum

 This plant belongs to the family Gesnariaceae. The intense blue flowers make the tiny plant very attractive.
I came across these beauties in Valparai, in Tamil Nad. These plants were clinging to some moss covered walls.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Insectivorous Plant- Bladderwort

 I came across these Striped Bladderwort plants last weekend while walking in the Western Ghats.They get their necessary protein by consuming small insects .The leeches got at me  while trying to photograph them. They had their fill of protein anyway.
The botanical name of this plant is Utricularia striatula, belonging to the family Lentibulariaceae.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Foxtail Orchid

 The Foxtail orchid Rhynchostylis retusa is called Kopou phool in Assam, and Draupadi Dande in Karnataka.It flowers profusely just before the onset of the monsoons. The flowers are arranged close together so that they resemble a fox's tail.
The Foxtail orchid is a native of India and SriLanka. It occurs in the forests of the Western Ghats in the wild. The beautiful flowers last almost a month.
The plant has medicinal uses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tree Turmeric- Berberis aristata

You find the Tree turmeric flowering all along the toad in the Himalayan foothills in May. The attractive yellow flowers  are buzzing with bees, When the fruits appear, the bushes look pretty.
The Tree Turmeric is also found in Kerala. It has many uses in Ayurveda.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


 Wrightia tinctoria is a small tree native to India. It has mildly scented white flowers which seem like snowflakes from a distance.Wrightia is named after a Scottish physician William Wright(1740-1827)
Wrightia is a very useful as well as ornamental tree.The leaves are used to extract a blue dye known as Pala indigo. The bark and leaves are used in Ayurveda medicine system for skin diseases like psoriasis.
My thanks to Mrs.Nesbitt and her team of ABCWednesday.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Combretum rotundifolium

 The Monkey Brush, Combretum rotundifolium  has stunningly beautiful inflorescence. It is a vine, which can be trimmed to have a bushy habit. The colour of the inflorescence ranges from yellow to orange to red, making the whole plant look spectacular
Thiss combretum is a native of South America, and it has adjusted nicely to our tropical conditions.