Best flora photograph and stories on efloraofindia-The elegant Ceropegia elegans:

I am extremely happy that efloraofindia is completing 15 years this June.I am ecstatic and proud that I have been associated with this forum since 2014 when I was a rookie photo enthusiast interested in photographing flowers that I came across during my field visits as a Forest Officer.I used to pester the experts @ efloraofindia relentlessly seeking the IDs.This forum, with a rich assortment of experts,satiated my inquisitiveness.I know the names of those that enriched this forum by heart. My pranams to each one of you that has made this forum what it is today..a global authority on flora…….Kudos

This is my humble submission of a photo-story to commemorate the 15th anniversary of efloraofindia. The situation further kindled my passion to explore the floral wealth of Western Ghats.I love every moment of my field trips wherein I encountered spectacular orchids, curious Ceropegia, and a host of other breathtaking flora.

Subject:Ceropegia elegans

Location: Mullaianagiri, Chikmagalur, Karnataka

My tryst with the Queen……………Ceropegia elegans.
The genus Ceropegia has always been an enigma. The different floral shapes and colours have fascinated me. I had read that about 43 of the 53 species that are known to occur in India are threatened and have become rare and genetically depleted. I always searched for them, when on field duty, with no success whatsoever. They remained as elusive as quicksilver.
24-06-2014 was another day that I could not keep indoors. It was mid-monsoon. The call of the Giris, my favorite “beckoning hills,” was irresistible. The imposing cliffs, winding roads, mesmerizing mist, blinding rains and its orchid perfume always beckoned me. Unmindful of my nemesis, those cold, slithery, and bloodthirsty leeches, I set out with my team hoping to find some orchids. The day was fruitful as we could find quite a few orchids, terrestrial and epiphytic ones.
The climb was arduous and my nemesis,the leech, had its fair share of my blood. The sun was already behind the western hills and the light was falling rapidly. We hastened our descent hoping to get into the safety of my Bolero before it got too dark. Before getting into the vehicle, I stopped for a while to fill my lungs and to examine my shoes and socks, Bent a little, kick-dropped a couple of leeches and looked over my shoulders…! I thought that a pair of small, greenish, serpent-like eyes was watching me from among the thickets a few feet away.  I stared for a while, eye-to-eye, and blinked first. Spellbound for a few seconds, I went closer. My heart missed a few beats as I realized that it was not a serpent, but an alien looking flower….! Yes. She was a Ceropegia….my Queen…! I had inadvertently stumbled upon the ‘Queen of Ceropegias’ that was later identified as Ceropegia elegans by that master explorer of Ceropegia, Mr. Sushant More.
She has been a lucky mascot for me because later on I could meet her mates as well during the year. Ceropegia juncea, Ceropegia biflora, Ceropegia candelabrum, Ceropegia spiralis and the King himself, Ceropegia gardneri…!
I have been recapitulating 24-06-2014 every now and then ever since. The images I took that day, in the falling light, are my treasure and occupy a prime place in my heart and archives as well.

Thanks a lot Kumar Ji for sharing your mesmerising moments, in really beautiful way. Such moments fuel our inquisitiveness and always inspire a passionate field worker… !!
Great encounter and superb narration have really made me feel that I was present at the site..

Thanks, Kumar ji, for the wonderful narration and your journey to find a Ceropegia.
So well written.

Nice story and picture, eflora group is proud to have members like you.

Very beautiful image and the story behind.
I have a similar story of an unidentified and even possibly a new Ceropegia from Himalaya. I was in Gori Valley around the cliffs on the right hand side of the river crossing through an Oak forest. And it started raining heavily. We decided to go down and follow a narrow trail. I stumbled upon one lcimber with white flower which I thought to be Ipomea so I kind of overlooked it and walked ahead.I have a bad habit that if I see something, the memory of that stays in my head. ~ 50 meters ahead I stopped thinking, “no it was not Ipomea the head had a crown!!”. I was accompanied by a good professor friend from the USA. She said, “Let’s go fast or we will be stuck”. I said “no I need to go back, I think I saw something unusual. I asked her to keep walking and I will catch up. I walked up and as it was a while flower, it was not easy to miss. I took a twig with the flower in my hand and as it was pouring heavily, I decided to keep it in my hands or the flower might get crushed in the bag (I wanted to take pics later on. I returned to find my friend waiting there for me smiling!! “You are crazy Pankaj”, she said. We walked down slowly (almost 1 hour) through bushes and reached the road only to realise that the twig broke off along with the flowers. The remaining twig I brought to the forest guesthouse and planted in the yard. No idea what happened to that plant and never could get an id of the species. By the vague description I had, I couldn’t match it with any existing species from Himalaya.

Great account, Pankaj ji.
I miss all these adventures now due to different priorities.

Superb and thrilling account of meeting the Queen, thank you, TSP ji, for sharing the wonderful photo !!!
Dear …, hope you find again, the white ceropegia someday !!! Instances of missing flora, most of us, have our counts. Some special ones haunt us for rest of our lives !!!

Yes sir.
Imagine I found my first new species when I got off my car for a pee!!
Today the plant is called Peristylus sahanii, named after my father.

Beautiful picture of the elegant beauty and interesting narrative!

Beautiful pic!
Thank you Kumar Ji !

Published on
Posted it in the efloraofindia Facebook page.
Pl. give it wide publicity in Social media, by posting it in your profile/ groups/ Instagram etc.

Extremely good picture

Excellent photograph TSP Kumar ji.

Beautiful Ceropegia picture

Photo from TSP Kumar ji along with its story came 2nd, to celebrate 15th anniversary of eFloraofIndia on 17.6.22. Congrats, Kumar ji, for your great skills and efforts.

My pleasure …, Indeed I am honored to be associated with eFloraofIndia.

Vibrant image and story.
Congratulations dear Kumar ji,

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