Saturday, December 31, 2016

බොල් හිඳ[Bol hinda] (Cyanotis cristata)

Common native herb grows in moist crevices or shallow soil on rock outcrops, roadside ditches, under trees and shrubs, thicket edges and near streams from sea level to about 1000 a.s.l.

Friday, December 30, 2016

සේරු[Seru] (Aidia gardneri)

An endemic tree occurs in wet and intermediate zone forests up to mid hills and some isolated hills in the dry lowlands such as Ritigala, Doluwa, Arankele, etc.  

Saturday, December 24, 2016

කුණු මී කරවලා[Kunu Mee Karawala]/මල් රදනකයා[Mal Radanakaya]/Flowery Wolf Snake(Lycodon osmanhilli)

An endemic Non venomous snake occurs in all parts of the island up to about 2000 m a.s.l. Rather common in urban and sub urban areas. It is found under flower pots, piles of stones, loose soil, cracks and crevices of walls and parapets in houses, stacked bricks and piles of woods. Flowery Wolf Snake is a nocturnal terrestrial snake and it feeds on geckos, other snakes, rodents, insects, etc. It is very aggressive snake especially at night and savagely bite when handling. When cornered it hides its head underneath the coil of its body and sometimes empty its bowels with a smell similar to rotten dead mice. Hence its Sinhalese name කුණු මී කරවලා. It is an oviparous snake and lays 8 to 10 eggs at one time. Flowery Wolf Snakes often enter human habitations and are killed on sight as many believes it as a venomous snake. Some authors considered Lycodon osmanhilli as a color variety of Lycodon aulicus

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Heracleum ceylanicum

Locally common, critically endangered, native perennial herb found among grasses in Patanas of the upper montane zone at elevations between 2000 - 2700 m a.s.l.. Flowering from February to July.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Polygala macrolophos

An endemic herb occurs in shrubby open spaces and along jungle paths of wet lowlands to montane forests. Flowering from December to March. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Black Bittern/කළු මැටිකොකා[Kalu matikoka] ( Dupetor flavicollis[Ixobrychus flavicollis])

Rather rare breeding resident of lowland marshes, reedbeds and densely vegetated watersides areas, supplemented by winter migrants to lowlands and lower hills. Mainly a nocturnal bird though sometimes visiting the water's edge to do a little fishing during the day as well, skulking out from its day time impenetrable retreat, which is often inside a dense thicket. Black bittern feeds largely on fish but frogs and insects are also eaten. Breeding birds were observed in few occasions during the month of April in the dry zone. The nest is a small structure of twigs placed often on a overhanging tree above the water.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

කතුරු මුරුංගා[Katuru murumga]/Agati/Vegetable hummongbird (Sesbania grandiflora)

An introduced small tree probably native to the Indonesia. Widely cultivated at home gardens as an ornamental and mainly for its edible leaves and flowers. Varies parts of the tree are sometimes used medicinally.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

කුරුඳු [Kurundu]/Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum [Syn: Cinnamomum zeylanicum])

Common endemic plant occurs in rain forest sub-canopy and home gardens.  Also cultivated widely from wet lowlands to about 700m elevations. Aromatic bark use as a spice and oil distilled from both bark and leaves. whole plant has medicinal value and use in traditional and Ayurvedic medicine.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

නිවිති [Nivithi]/Malabar Spinach(Basella alba)

An indigenous twining herb often cultivated as a leafy vegetable. Wild plants are rather rare and confine to the forest and shady places of the dry areas. Whole plant medicinal. Flowering from September to December. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Paddyfield Pipit/Indian Pipit/ගොමරිට්ටා[Gomaritta]/කෙත් වැරටිච්චා[Keth Waratichcha] (Anthus rufulus)

Rather common breeding resident inhabiting grasslands, paddy fields and open areas throughout the island. It lives in pairs or sometimes as scattered flocks. Paddyfield Pipit feeds on grasshoppers, ground beetles and other such insects on ground. It occasionally perch on trees and shrubs but usually inhabiting the ground, running swiftly over the grass, often standing erect to view the surrounding. The main breading season is from March to July though nests may be found during the other months of the year. The nest, cup made up of pad of grass, rootlets, etc. is placed on the ground under the shelter of grass tussock. The normal clutch consists of three eggs. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

වැල් කෑලිය/වැල් මැඩිය[Wel Keliya/Wel Mediya] (Grewia orientalis)

Common native shrub grows in forests, scrub lands and grasslands in the dry zone. Flexible Branches of this shrub were used to make bows by Veddhas. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

හීන් අල[Heen Ala](Glinus oppositifolia[Syn: Mollugo oppositifolia])

Common mat forming indigenous prostrate herb occurs in moist to dry open places in the lowlands. Often grows on the bottom of empty tanks. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

කෝන [Kona]/Mexican Lilac (Gliricidia sepium)

An introduced tree native to tropical America. Planted as a shade tree for tea, cocoa and Coffee and also in fences. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

මලිත්තන් [Maliththan]/Mustard Tree (Salvadora persica)




An  indigenous small tree in open areas and scrub lands of the dry and arid regions, especially by the coast. Flowering all the year rounds. Whole plant medicinal.


Friday, December 2, 2016

කෝන්[Kon]/Ceylon Oak (Schleichera oleosa)

Common native tree of dry and intermediate zone forests up to 700 m elevations. Flowering from March to April and fruiting from April to August. Bark and oils extracted from seeds are used in medicine.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

තිලෝගුරු[Thiloguru] (Polygala javana)

Common native herb (Sometimes a shrub up to 1 m tall ) occurs in dry open areas and shrubby roadsides of the dry lowlands. Flowering throughout the year. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Black Sage (Cordia curassavica)

An introduced shrub native to tropical America. Escaped and widely established as a common weed along roadsides, waste lands and open areas. It is said that Black Sage was first introduced to the Anuradapura Botanical garden which was existed near the  'Anuradapura Hotel?' (Alston , 1931) 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Commelina ensifolia

Common indigenous herb occurs on rocky hills, rock crevices, edge of rock pools, river banks, scrubs, forests, grasslands, sandy and weedy areas and roadsides from sea level to about 260 m a.s.l. Flowering from March to April, July and September to January.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lesser Cuckoo/Small Cuckoo/Little Cuckoo/පුංචි කොහා/පුංචි කෝකිලයා[Punchi Koha/Punchi Kokilaya] (Cuculus poliocephalus)

Rather rare winter migrant to forests, open wooded areas and gardens from lowlands to mid hills. While its stay in the island Lesser Cuckoo lives as solitary birds and feeds on insects including hairy caterpillars. It breeds from Himalayas to the Northern China.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Ducklettuce (Ottelia alismoides)

Common native floating herb with fully or partly submerged leaves, occurs in standing stagnant pools and shallow slow running streams.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blunt Arrowhead (Limnophyton obtusifolium)

Common native marsh plant grows in tanks and ponds, mainly in the dry lowlands. Flowering from February to April and August to September. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rosy Starling/රෝස සැරිකාවා/රෝස මයිනා[Rosa Sarikava/Rosa Myna] (Pastor roseus)

An uncommon winter migrant mainly to the dry lowlands and particularly to the coastal areas. Rosy Starling is a highly gregarious and noisy bird spends much of its time on the ground, feeding on insects, fruits,berries, nectar and grains. During its stay in Sri Lanka it inhabits grasslands, cultivation, home gardens and forests. It is an irregular winter visitor appears in large numbers in some years and almost absent in some other years. Large numbers gather to roost communally to a selected tree or a large shrub during the night. It breeds in East Europe and Middle East and almost entire world population winters in India and Sri Lanka. Most of the birds which visits the island appears to be in immature plumage. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Madras Carpet (Grangea maderaspatana)

An uncommon  native prostrate herb on moist grounds like margins of tanks in the drier northern part of the country. Flowering throughout the year.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Creeping Lickstoop (Dentella repens)

An indigenous mat forming prostrate herb grows on sandy river banks, empty tank beds and open areas. Also occurs as a weed in rice fields and lawns.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lily of the valley (Pinalia bicolor[Syn: Eria bicolor])

Very common indigenous tufted epiphyte on trees above 1000 m a.s.l in sub montane tropical wet evergreen forests extending to the subtropical montane forests up to 2200 m elevations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Strobilanthes schomburgkii?

Commonly cultivated in hedges in moist lowlands and hills. Occasionally escaped and naturalized*.
*Not in the Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon (J & J Vlas , 2014)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Plectranthus malabaricus [Syn: Coleus malabaricus]

Large indigenous herb restricted to the shaded places near streams in secondary submontane forests from 640 to 1400 m elevations. Rarely also occurs in wet lowland forests. Flowering throughout the year. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

වල් කරාඹු[Wal Karabu]/Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans)

An introduced tree cultivated as an ornamental and possibly also naturalized along forest edges.  It is native to Southeast Asia

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pavonia fryxelliana

An endemic woody herb or sub-shrub found on granite outcrops in Polonnaruwa and Ampara districts. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Urophyllum ellipticum

Rather common endemic shrub or small tree occurs in tropical wet evergreen forests, usually at lower elevations. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Grey-headed Fish-eagle/Tank Eagle/වැව් රාජාලියා/අළුහිස් මසුකුස්සා[Wev rajaliya/Aluhus masukussa](Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus)

Rather uncommon breeding resident in the dry lowland forested tanks, lakes and rivers. It spends much of its time perch on a branch above water, watching for a fish to come near the water surface. It utters a loud noise early in the morning and late in the afternoon, especially during the breeding season. The breeding season lasts from December to March. The nest is a large heap of sticks set high in a tree, where it lays one or two eggs. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kandyn Dancer/ Dancing Lady/Oncidium Golden Shower (Oncidium sphacelatum x Oncidium. flexuosum)

Probably a native plant of Brazil. Widely cultivated in pots or hanging containers in home gardens throughout the island. Flowering occurs all the year round.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

කටු කිහිරි[Katu kihiri] (Acacia nilotica)

An introduced tree native to Egypt, Arabia and India. Naturalized and spreading in the dry and arid areas, mainly near the coast. Bark use as a tanning material and timber hard as teak. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

මහ අන්දර/කටු අන්දර[Maha Andara/Katu Andara] (Acacia leucophloea)

Common native tree occurs in the dry areas of the country. Bark acting as a clarifier and flavoring agent in arrack distilling in India and for dyeing sails, mats, ropes and for tanning in Sri Lanka. Pods used as fodder and wood in construction industry.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Watercock/විල් කුකුලා/කෝරාවා[Wil kukula/Korawa] (Gallicrex cinera)

Rather uncommon elusive breeding resident inhabiting marshlands, reed beds and well grown paddy fields throughout the lowlands. It is largely a nocturnal bird and due to its skulking habit of moving among reeds it is considered as one of the difficult bird to observe. Watercock mainly feeds on grains, rice-blades, tender shoots, etc. It also eat insects and molluscs. It breeds from July to August during the southwestern monsoons. The nest is a mass of weed well hidden in dense vegetation where it lays two eggs. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

කොහොඹ[Kohomba]/Neem/Margosa(Azadirachta indica)

An introduced tree probably native to the Burma. Widely cultivated and also naturalized in the dry lowland areas. Whole plant medicinal, seeds insecticidal and wood used in construction industry.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

රණවරා[Ranawara]/Matara Tea/Tanner's cassia(Senna auriculata[Cassia auriculata])

Common native shrub or small tree  occurs in dry zone jungles. Also cultivated in home gardens. Flowering from February to March. Roots, leaves and, seeds are medicinal and dried flowers and flower buds are used as a substitute for tea. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

ඉරමුසු/හීන්-ඉරමුසු[Iramusu/Heen-Iramusu] (Hemidesmus indicus)

Perennial twiner common in scrub lands and forests from lowlands to about 1000m elevation. Flowering in February. Roots use in traditional medicine as a tonic.

Friday, October 14, 2016

මඤ්ඤොක්කා[Manyokka]/Manioc/Cassava (Manihot esculenta)

Native shrub of tropical America with long unbranched stem. Introduced by Portuguese during their reign of maritime provinces of the Sri Lanka.* Now widely cultivated in home gardens and plantations for its edible tuberous roots. Young leaves are also edible. Flowers can be seen only on large neglected plants.

* Tagus to Taprobane, Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya, 2001

Thursday, October 13, 2016

සේපාලිකා[Sepalika]/Coral jasmine/Sorrowful nyctanthes/Tree of sadness/Tree of sorrow(Nyctanthes arbor-tristis)

An introduced straggling shrub or small tree widely cultivated in home gardens. Native to India, Thailand and Indonesia. Flowers opening at night and casting of at sunrise. Flowering occurs mainly from August to November, but also in other months.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ඇට පන්[Eta Pan] (Lepironia articulata)

Leafless indigenous perennial occurs in saline swamps and back marshes along the coast.  Known only from Muthurajawela marshy land and along Hamilton canal in the Negombo area and from Caltura (Kalutara?) (Flora of Ceylon Vol 5) *

* Photographed at Diyawanna oya marsh land of Kotte,  probably introduced to that area since part of former wetland is now turned into the Baddagana biodiversity park and Bird Sanctuary

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cyanotis pilosa

An indigenous herb occurs in montane patanas and open, moist roadsides from 1700 to 2400 m elevations. Flowering throughout the year.