Flora picture of the year 2013

.
Best images of 2013 posted by members of Efloraofindia
.
_______________________________________________


Few years back when i had been to Phansad Wild Life Sanctuary, i spotted  orange coloured fruits of a woody climber and i was told that the fruits are poisonous. I wanted to see the flowering of this climber but it was eluding me for long… Finally during my visit to   Kankeshwar (near Alibag)    in April 2013, i saw  the flowering of this  rare  climber.   Was fortunate to capture various stages  of its flowering and fruiting.  (Special thanks to Pravin ji for helping me in spotting this climber at Kankeshwar).

Bot. name:  Adenia hondala
Syn: Modecca palmata
Family: Passifloraceae
Habitat: Evergreen forest.
Plant habit: Climber.
Local Marathi name: Nandan-bhopli

One can identify this climber by its characteristic woody stem very close to the base.
Prashant

#################################################

This was my most prized catch of 2013 from above Tungnath in Uttarakhand on June 1, I had worked on Iris kemaonensis Wall. ex D. Don (I. kumaonensis in most earlier  Indian Books). and studied its confusion with I. hookeriana in most Indian Floras including Hooker’s Flora of British India. The two species are very distinct at least in two major features:

  1. I. hookeriana: aerial stems distinct longer than 10 cm; perianth tube less than 2 cm long.
  1. I. kemaonensis: Aerial stems highly reduced, not longer than 10 cm (longer stemed I. kemaonensis var. caulescens Baker is now considered as synonym of I. hookeriana); perianth tube 5-8 cm long.

In 1972-73 I had studied nearly 700-800 herbarium specimens in various Indian Herbaria including the three major ones Calcutta, Dehradun and Lucknow and found that more than 90 % of specimens identified as I. kumaonensis actually belonged to I. hookeriana, and that former has much more restricted distribution than I. hookeriana, which is more widely distributed in W. Himalayas. I. kemaonensis is mostly restricted to areas of Uttarakhand and eastwards.

I am uploading two photographs instead of one, to bring out the feature of a very long Perianth tube.

Gurcharan Singh

##################################

I do take lots of pictures of flowers  but this one is special for me in 2013

We were on flower hunting tour to Chopta & Tungnath.. Me, Balkar, Gurcharan sir & his wife

Me being Crazy Orchid lover was continuously saying ‘Orchid ..Orchid plzz!

And then Balkar jumped with joy ‘Here is Orchid  Mam’ .

It was this Miss. Beautiful !!! ,Scientifically called  Calanthe tricarinata  …

Full blooming & smiling happily with us in her beautiful yellowish green flowers.

Brownish red colored labellum with flabellate mid lobe having strongly undulate margin added beauty to flowers.

It was first orchid on tour … We danced with joy, It was happiest moment!!!

New orchid species for me … What more could have I asked for!!!

I love flower hunting in Himalaya ..among huge mountains, under deep blue sky , travelling on winding road with own vehicle is so much fun, yeah we traveled by Balkar’s car and that too with expert like Gurcharan sir… what a fun !!

It was memorable tour!!

I am really thankful to Balkar and Gurcharan sir for such a wonderful tour

Friends, i hope you will like my picture

Smita

#######################################



Salix obscura Andersson (Salicaceae)

The species is rediscovered from its type locality after a long gap of 121 years. I collected this specimen from Lachen valley of Sikkim Himalaya during the revisionary study of Indian Salicaceae in May, 2006 and in April, 2008. This species was first collected by Sir J. D. Hooker from Lachen on June 3, 1849 and based on his specimen the first description of Salix obscura was made by N.J. Andersson in 1868. Next collection of this species from the same locality was made by Robert Pantling in May, 1885 and was kept in CAL. Thorough scrutiny of herbarium sheets housed in different Indian herbaria including CAL, BSHC, APFH, ASSAM, NEHU, DD, BSD, LWG, RRLH, KASH, BSA, MH, BSI etc. it has become apparent that after Pantling, no further collection of this species was made from its type locality. This Sino-Himalayan species is recorded in India only from North Sikkim. No specimens have been traced from other adjacent state like West Bengal (Darjeeling Himalaya) or Arunachal Pradesh. One of our papers has been published on this topic in Pleione (http://www.ehsst.org/20%20Sukla%20Chanda_Final.pdf).  Its living photographs are very rare in the web. One of my Rapid Colour Guide shows two photographs of S. obscura (http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/plantguides/guide_pdfs/528%20Saliacaceae-Himalaya-India%20b1.pdf).

Although the species shows a restricted occurrence but fortunately this species is not threatened. The main reason for its good number in those areas (on way to Lachen from Chungthang, Lachen and toward Thangu from Lachen) of Sikkim is that local people used S. obscura for fencing and this species have a good response in vegetative propagation. Naturally this species is conserved in those areas. I visited three times in Lachen where always found good numbers either on the hill slopes or as fencing. Thanks to those native people who helped to conserve this species in their own way otherwise we have to rethink about this issue.
Thanks,

Sukla

#####################################



Meizotropis pellita (Hook.f. ex Prain) Sanjappa Bull. Bot. Surv. India 29: 219 1989.

[=Butea pellita Hook.f. ex Prain, Bull. Misc. Inf. Kew 1908: 385. 1908.]

This genus has only two species (M.buteiformis Voigt being other) in the world, both occurring in Himalayan zone (Uttarakhand to Burma) only.

It is a perennial wild legume species which is rarely known and photographed. I myself heard about this species at the time of my D.Phil. research and wished to see, collect and photograph it. The wish fulfilled, but only after one and a half decade! Despite of the long duration of fifteen years my photographs uploaded on eFI are still seems the first photographs of this species on web.

The rarity of M.pellita can be understood by the fact that it is an endemic of Uttarakhand and Nepal only. In Uttarakhand it has only one population known which hardly has more than few hundred individuals.

No clear information from Nepal is available. Though not mentioned in Indian Red Data Book or IUCN Redlist it certainly deserves a Critically Endangered category on account of few hundred surviving individuals, small unprotected area of occurrence (less than 5km2), meagre seed setting and lopping for various purposes in the area.

A project on micro propagation of this species was sanctioned to a scientist from a nearby institution and a recent paper claims development of micro propagation protocols. I may also boast that I have raised two seedlings of this species at my home (in Pantnagar) to which I will later transfer to some botanic garden.

Not just hoping but trying to save this species!

DSRawat Pantnagar

#######################################

Here is another pic of a pollinator flying away carrying pollinia from
Cymbidium ensifolium on its back. This is not observed very often.
Both pollinator and plant are getting rare these days. Pollinator due
to lack of foraging food and plant because of extreme pressure due to
collection. Cymbidiums are supposed to be one of the prized
possessions for Chinese. They are often referred to as the plants of
rich people. Normally leaves are green but, by mistake if it has
yellow streaks on leaves then the price goes higher !!!
Pollinators visit the flower for nectar and wax.
Best regards
Pankaj

#####################################

My Flora Picture for the Year 2013 is this picture of Flame of the Forest, Butea monosperma taken in Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand.

This was taken during our visit in March 2013.

It was a single tree in full bloom, with different birds Parrots, Mynas, enjoying the flowers.

Aarti

#####################################

Myristica swamp – many thanks to Shrikant (Ingalhalikar) ji for introducing a wonderful kind of forest to me. Very different experience of natural settings – streams, swamps, lush vegetation. One such myristica swamp in Uttara Kannada is Kathalekan (literal meaning in Kannada – dark forest), a sacred grove with shade loving small plants, climbing palms, evergreen trees with mighty girths and peculiar roots. Among the many endemic species, I met this Lophopetalum wightianum. Wonderful large tree with serpentine roots, beautiful sight when in fruiting, the tiny flower – one of the masterpieces of creation.

Dinesh Valke

######################################

Here is my ‘Flora Picture of 2013’! Although this is not colorful, it is one of my favorite SEM shots.

Calcium oxalate crystals are present in almost all kinds of tissues in more than 75% of the flowering plant families. They are also found in other plant groups. This raphide crystal is one of the commonly occurring five main types of calcium oxalate crystals.

The young raphide bundle in the attached picture (magnified 800x) contains about 200 needles kept together by thick mucilage.

Raphide crystals play multiple roles in plants including protection from herbivory, calcium regulation, removal of toxic oxalate etc. etc. Since the type and distribution of these crystals in plants are tissue specific and species-specific, they are helpful in plant identification and taxonomy.

Have you experienced the painful itchiness in mouth after consuming certain types of tubers/corms (such as Amorphophallus and Colocasia)? That is due to these sharply pointed raphide crystals that poke, prick and hurt the soft tissues in the mouth and tongue. There are millions of such bundles of raphides in those corms. The needles are variously shaped and sharply pointed at both the ends/tips and can be up to 0.2 mm long.

The crystals dissolve in acidic (low pH levels) medium, hence we cook the tubers/corms in sour-tasting fluid (such as tamarind juice) to kill the crystals and also to make the food tastier 🙂

Vijayasankar

########################################


Malay Rose Apple or Syzygium malaccensis in bloom at Veer Jijamata Bhosale Garden in Mumbai last week. This tree is ‘exotic’ in every literary meaning; coming from south east asia, bizzare in shape and colour and exceedingly beautiful. The fruits too are very attractive. The rareness makes this tree a neighbour’s envy.

Shrikant

########################################

This picture was shot during our August 2013 Chakrata Tour. Very small flowers look not so beautiful on this vine of Ampelocissus latifolia (Wild Grape). When a Macro shot was taken, the picture was very good looking. I am sharing the close up of inflorescence of this plant as My Picture of the year 2013.

Balkar Singh

######################################


Presenting my
Flora picture of the year 2013 .
Dioscorea bulbifera
Earlier I had seen these flowers but they were scanty.
This year I had been to Bhimashankar in monsoon where I came across this climber with profuse flowering.
Dr Satish Phadke

#######################################

In Kachchh, the current of the wind is particularly strong in the middle of the year. Last year in June, I was spellbound under a youthful Sesbania grandiflora, a leafless tree laden with abundant fruit near Kojachora, far from the jarring din and bustle of urbanity. I could see the swell and the swirl of the wind as it gusted through the canopy and it produced a resounding rattle as it waggled and tickled the slender, tawny pods.

The flowers, being the largest in the Papilionaceae, are no trifle either but I am instantly reminded of this windswept encounter whenever I come across this tree elsewhere.

Best wishes, Viplav

#######################################

Cherrapunji, Meghalaya – Ficus Elastic – Indian Rubber Tree

Its a sight to see the Living Root Bridges, after walking down 2500 steps.

Raman

#########################################

Happy new year to this great group. My best for 2013

Phyllocephallum scabridum–Purple Head

thanks a lot.

Satish Nikam

#####################################


Dear friends,

Possibly this is my first post after a dry year of 2013 (mainly because of paucity of time due to different priorities). It is Habenaria longicorniculata as I knew it from the first glance while moving on a narrow road through Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary on way to Kemmanagundi from Chikmaglur in Oct’2013.

I requested the driver to stop the vehicle & hurriedly got down to click it. I didn’t bother for anything else. I also took the pictures of the basal leaves and many other pictures from many angles, a few while almost sitting. After the photo session with this & a few other flowering herbs was over I returned back to the vehicle. As we moved a bit i could see blood on my pants. As I looked further I saw many leaches on my legs, shirt & on the vehicle. It was as if it was a great attack of leeches. I quickly removed them by heavily shaking my hands & legs one by one. Finally all of them (around six) were gone but not without leaving their temporary scars. I knew they did no long term harm. One of them was later found to have left a mark on the toes of my daughter.

It certainly was a great encounter with Habenaria longicorniculata

J.M.Garg 


.
Posted by SATISFIED at 10:29 AM

Labels: Flora picture of the year 2013


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.