Tag Archives: Botany

Castaway Plants?

They are not cultivated by the people like so many plants which decorate the homes, offices and other public places. They grow by themselves on the edges of the roads and other places wherever they get a chance. They are weeded out of the fields by the farmers to clear the land for useful crops. They are very sturdy and can survive the adverse conditions.

They are like the poor children who have no access to health care amenities and sanitation facilities. Some of them who survive all the diseases become very tough and become immune to every ailment.

Almost every one ignore their existence and treat them as an undesired growth. But even then they possess certain charm which a sensitive mind cannot ignore. They may have flowers of various hues and diminutive sizes. The flowers may exude fragrances.

As they say that a plant is considered a weed until its properties are not fully known. They may have medicinal properties.

Below are the pictures of some such plants growing in our area.

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It is Green All Around

The effect of Spring season is different on different species of trees. Some are in great hurry and begin to change their habits at the earliest. Some are very patient and wait on and begin to sprout the beautiful transparent light colored leaves when the leaves of the early starters have already become dull and dark green.

Banyan trees are different. I saw them shed copious quantities of the dry leaves daily with the help of strong breeze. When they became almost skeletons, new copper colored leaves come out all over the tree. The trees look to be made of copper.

There are other trees which do not bring out leaves at all but flowers. Very beautiful golden color bunches hang from the skeleton of branches. The flowers can be seen against the azure skies as backdrop. Another category brings forth both leaves as well as flowers.

What do these trees ask from us? Except a little care when they are small and tender, not to be tinkered with unnecessarily. They give us everything without asking. First of all, all the carbon dioxide which animals generate daily through there metabolism and other means of comfort like factories, electric appliances etc, is taken over by these trees and plants. They eat it and convert it into glucose and higher carbohydrates and release oxygen. These are the things which animals survive on. Thus we see that animals and plants are dependent on one another. So if we release carbon dioxide which exceeds what is required by plants then we have carbon dioxide that causes problems like breathing discomfort and acts as a trap for heat which is generated on the Earth and causes heating. To obviate this we have to have more plants.

Today I took some more photos. Please look closely.

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 like caroteneoids.

As soon as, the plant know that the a given leaf is under performing, it gradually decrease the supply of chlorophyll and also reclaims whatever it can of the other components. Gradually the color of leaf begins to become yellowish and it looses it strength and fall off the branch. Older leaves are constantly replenished and plant continues to make its food.

When the winter comes, the Sun is hardly visible because sky is mostly overcast. So the plants plan to shut down the food making factories. They withdraw the chlorophyll from the leaves and like polar bears go into a state of hibernation. Leaves acquire beautiful brown, reddish and yellowish hues due to the waning of the effect of chlorophyll. As the winter recedes, Sun comes out, the food making is resumed.

History Lies in Ruins

I have been treading this path for many years now. I go for morning walks in that area because it is so peaceful away from the cacophony of Highway noises. There are woods in which the vegetation has been left to grow unhindered and unbridled. The vines have coiled themselves around the trunks of the thick trees as if to strangulate them and snatch the dominance from them. The ground beneath is strewn with the seams of leaves which have fallen from the trees branches continuously over the years. These have formed a thick mat on the ground. In the morning, sun rays filter through the mist which usually hangs and floats mysteriously between the trees. Although this is a private property of our company but some outsiders seem to ambulate through these woods to make shortcuts as is obvious from the many paths formed inside due to continuous use.

At the one end of the enclosure are building which once were teeming with the people who lived in the quarters here. These building have been abandoned. Even a regular passerby will not give any attention to them. One day, I stared through the abundant growth of grass, bushes and trees and felt as if I have discovered the remains of an unknown civilization.

I was stunned at the condition of homes. There is vegetation everywhere. Walls are covered with permanent discoloration. The windows are corroded and termite has gnawed the wood. Doors and standing like skeletons which it seems will fall apart at the slightest force. There are trees which have grown their branched so long that they have also come down and piled their roots into the soil. It looks as if it is an octopus.

The spiders have spun countless webs to catch their prey which are in abundance here due to woods nearby. The lizards creep on the walls and guard the secret history of events that once unfolded in these houses. In these houses there was happiness, pain and sadness. The women gave birth to babies and at the same time lives were terminated by the Shiva for resuming the cycle of life in some another form. Here in these houses children shouted and played and fought among themselves. There were men who worried about their relatives in the remote villages. Couples has made love and spouses had slept on the same bed with their faces turned away from each other after some fights. In the morning, the womenfolks made the victuals for their husbands and children who went to the offices and schools.

And now it all seems like a dream, a repository of events that took place here some years back. It seems that these houses are very sad because what is house which is not a home. They longed to again redone and be inhabited by the human beings. Or else, they want to be eliminated and be no more. The trees have grown so high that you have to stain your head to look at their canopies and beyond into the blue sky. There are broken playing ladders and swings which have completely rusted. All these seem to be frozen in some point in the space and time.