Trees

Alphonso Mangoes

Comes April and mangoes make their appearance in Mumbai. India boasts of maximum number of cultivars and varieties of this fruit which can easily claim the title of king of fruits. Its juice is full of sweetness and some varieties have the tinge of sour taste. In Maharasthra, Karnataka and Andhra states the mangoes have developed and green raw fruits are hanging from the branches. Mangoes are used in innumerable ways. Raw fruits are sour and are used to make drinks which soaks the heatĀ  from the body nd cools you in the simmering heat. They are used to make… Read More »Alphonso Mangoes

Sitting under a Banyan Tree

More than 70% population lives in villages. In the olden days, when there were no facilities like television, radio etc, then people in the villages devised ways to entertain them. The menfolk sat under the cool shade of the trees, smoke the hookah and converse with each other. They would talk about all the things under the Sun like their family matters which in any case were not private matters, about the condition of crops and irrigation water, untimely rains which visited to damage their crops. It was a culture in which individuality was a second priority and collective or… Read More »Sitting under a Banyan Tree

Parijat

One of the many things which I miss about Assam is the flowers of Parijat. In its blossoming season, it is treat to watch these trees and ground beneath them. It is completely covered with its fragrant flowers. The flowers are very small with white sepals and one orange colored speck in the center. Children collect the flowers in little bamboo baskets. I asked them what they will do with so many flowers, to which they answered that these will be dried and added in cooked vegetables. The shrubs there are very healthy like all other vegetation which seems to… Read More »Parijat

Distant Relatives

The more I watch the nature closely and more I go through the literature, it is becoming clear how shallow is our knowledge of the world around us which the God has created. Sometimes I become more and more confused and become awestruck when some mystery of nature becomes clear to me. As we know that living things are related to one another at some stage or other during evolution though they must have diversified at some period of time but at least some basic properties resemble. By the end of January and February, one can notice that Pipal trees… Read More »Distant Relatives

Silk Floss Trees

The Silk Floss Trees are the native to South America. They belong to the same family as Baobab and Kapok trees. Like so many other species of trees and plants, due to ease of navigation, have been brought to another countries and have adapted to themselves to the local climate. Many explorers brought species found in the newly discovered lands to their country as a mark of the success of the voyage and also out of human curiosity to try and propagate the species in their own country. Due to the change in climate many traits undergo some differences from… Read More »Silk Floss Trees

After Amaltas it is the turn of Gulmohars

Though golden blooms on Amaltas (cassia fistula) trees have begun to fade, they are still hanging there. The flowers are loosing their hue steadily and once where only flowers were hanging all over the trees, thick green foliage has begun to appear on the trees. Perhaps, they are feeling too much heat and are unable to withstand it and are withering away. I have pictures of them when they were in full glory. Below is the one. So, you can see the beauty of the nature, expressed in the golden flowers of Amaltas tree. But alas! now it is almost… Read More »After Amaltas it is the turn of Gulmohars

Identification of Plants and Trees in My Locality

Innumerable plants grow on the earth. The very diversity is mind boggling. We did not even know the names of plants growing around us. In fact, most of us never bother to even look around. These become just the backdrop of landscape we dwell in. I don’t think that even God, the creator, has given them names. It is us mortals, who in order to make our life easier document the things. We give nomenclature to everything living in the nature. We have classified them into different kingdoms for our convenience and harmony in the views of different individuals. I… Read More »Identification of Plants and Trees in My Locality

Plants are very Smart Indeed

Plants are very smart, efficient and unforgiving in the energy management. Unlike the animals, who cannot regrow their limbs, plants see to it that inefficient leaves are cast off and replaced by new efficient one’s so that the food making machine continue to run smoothly. The leaves make the food by combining carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll which shepherds the energy from sun and store it in the plant. Animals make use of this energy by eating the plant parts. This pigment imparts green color to the leaves and masks the faint colors of other chemicals… Read More »Plants are very Smart Indeed

The Frustration Principle

When we observe the trees and plants around us, we find that even the plants of the same species bear different sizes and shapes. In fact no two trees are alike even if they are growing near one another. This is the result of the intense competition and many traits that trees have to face and acquire. Every tree tries to reproduce to propagate its lineage. For this it produces seeds. But this is not the end of the story. The seeds have to be broadcast away from the tree preferably to a place where the parent tree does not… Read More »The Frustration Principle

Raktika: The bright seed of Gunja

Raktika or Gunja vines grow wildly in many areas of India. Raktika or Rati, seed of Gunja vine, was used in ancient India as a unit of weight for weighing the precious metals like Gold. The seeds have the quality of having almost identical weights. It is generally taken as 0.118 grams but the consistency over the different times is doubtful. The standard varied from time to time and place. The seed is also known as Jequirity, Crab’s Eye, Rosary Pea, John Crow Bead, Precatory bean, Indian Licorice, Akar Saga, Giddee Giddee or JumbieĀ  Bead in different parts of the… Read More »Raktika: The bright seed of Gunja