Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

කළු රාජාලියා/කළුකුස්සා [Kalu Rajaliya/KAlukussa] Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayaensis)


Rather uncommon breeding resident inhabiting forests and nearby open areas from wet lowlands to hills while becoming  fairly commonest in the higher hills. Also occurs locally in isolated forested hills such as Ritigala in the dry lowlands.

Black eagle hunts usually as pairs by sailing slowly along hills, slightly above the canopy level, scanning tree tops for bird nests and adult birds. It has a marvelous skill in circling in and out of small hollows among the trees.

It feeds mainly on bird eggs, chicks and adult birds such as bulbuls, doves and munias and small mammals.

The nest is a huge masses of sticks set on the crown of tall forest trees usually growing on hill slopes, where it lays usually a single egg. The breeding season appeared to be from December to February.

It is usually a silent bird though utters a loud whistling keeeu sound during the breeding season. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Common rose moss/Sun plant (Portulaca grandiflora)

Native plant of tropical America. Widely cultivated as an ornamental. Also occurs as an escape. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year. Usually 5 petals. But varies cultivars occurs with additional petals and in pink, red, orange or yellow colors. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Platostoma elongatum [Syn: Geniosporum elongatum]

Rather common native perennial herb in grassy slopes of the intermediate zone, lower hill country and patanas of the upper hills from 150 to 2000 elevations. Flowering from October to May and July.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

කලු බඹර වැල්/පටික වැල්/යකඩ වැල්[Kalubambara wel/Patika wel/Yakada wel] (Artabotrys zeylanicus)

Rather common native woody climber confine to the primary and secondary forests from lowlands to lower montane zone up to about 1000 m a.s.l in the wet and intermediate zones. Particularly abundant in the disturbed vegetation. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hybrid glory-bower vine (Clerodendrum x speciosum)

An introduced shrub widely cultivated in gardens. Flowering from February to April and August to September. A hybrid between Clerodendrum splendens and Clerodendrum thomsoniae.

Friday, May 20, 2016

මහ ඇඹුල්ඇඹිලිය[Maha Ambulabiliya]/Manikwatte Weed/Broad leaved sorrel (Oxalis latifolia)

Native herb of South America. Introduced to Sri Lanka by the Botanic garden before 1879 and naturalized in disturbed places and cultivated grounds from mid hills to higher elevations. Flowering periodically throughout the year. Flowers open in the morning and close early afternoon.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

ගෙඳ කොළ[Genda kola]/Moss rose/Sun plant/Common purselane (Portulaca oleracea)

Annual erect or decumbent herb common in waste lands, seashores, roadsides and arable lands throughout the island. White and red flower varieties are also occurs. Cultivated and escaped.  Small flowered wild species is native. Flowering throughout the year.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pouzolzia walkeriana

Rather common endemic large herb occurs in shaded roadsides and dry and lower moist forests up to 800 m elevations. Flowering from October to April.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

රට අත්තන/තුම්බෝ අත්තන[Rata Attana/Tumbo Attana]/Trumpet flower (Brugmansia suaveolens)

An introduced tall shrub or small tree native to the Southeastern Brazilian coastal rain forests. Widely cultivated in tea planting districts and also naturalized along streams above 400 m a.s.l. Flowering at the end of the dry season and during the rains. The flowers are usually white but yellow or pink color varieties also occurs.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Common Acacia Blue (Surendra quercetorum)

Common butterfly flies all the year round in wetter parts of the island below 1000 m a.s.l. wherever its food plants grows. Its larva feeds on leaves of Acacia caesia (හිඟුරු-වැල්), Acacia pennata (ගොඩ හිඟුරු), Albizia lebbeck (සූරිය මාර), Falcataria moluccana (මාර) and Calliandra surinamensis*.

Jayasinghe H.D., Rajapaksha S.S. & de Alwis C. 2014 A Compilation and Analysis of food plants utilization of Sri Lankan butterfly larva (Papilionoidea) TaprobanicaVol 6(2) 110-131pp.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus)

Native tree of Northwest Panama to South Mexico. Introduced and cultivated as a shade tree in tea plantations. Leaves use as a fodder. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ophiorrhiza nemorosa

An endemic herb occurs in the hill country. Ecology unknown* (Flora of Ceylon Vol 12)

* Above pictures were taken in a forested mountainous roadside close to a stream. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

නාපිරිත්ත/හීන් නාපිරිත්ත[Napiriththa/Heen napiriththa] (Hibiscus surattensis [syn Hibiscus furcatus])

Common indigenous scrambling and trailing shrubby or erect herb occurs in scrub lands, secondary vegetation, roadsides and waste places, especially near habitations in the low country.  Flowering from December to April.

*නාපිරිත්ත or Hibiscus furcatus Roxb. with short outward pointing lobes of epicalyx segments is now considered as a synonym of Hibiscus surattensis L. having epicalyx segments of large outward pointing lobes. (http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2849894)

Monday, May 9, 2016

තොලබෝ[Tolabo](Crinum asiaticum)

Common indigenous tall herb occurs in the moist lowlands. Common on the sandy seacoast, open areas and in coconut plantations. Also cultivated as an ornamental from low to mid elevations. Flowering throughout the year and strongly fragrant flowers opening in the evening. Bulbs and leaves are used in  traditional medicine. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sanchezia spp.

An introduced Sanchezia species cultivated in gardens, native to the tropical South America. It could be S. parvibrateata, S. speciosa or S. nobilis*

* Illustrated field guide to the flowers of Sri Lanka, Vol 1, J. & J. de Vlas, 2008.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Acilepis nemoralis [Syn: Vernonia nemoralis]

An uncommon endemic herb or sub-shrub occurs along streams and moist tracksides from sea level to about 1200 m elevations in the southwestern wet zone.  Flowering from February to May.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

වල් තේ කොළ [Wal te kola]Ceylon tea/Spanish needle/Beggar's tick (Bidens pilosa var. minor)

An introduced herb native to temperate and tropical America. Naturalized in Sri Lanka and occurs as two varieties.
var. pilosa - Without or usually with very small white ray flowers. Only known from Peradeniya-Kandy area. Flowering from November to March.
var. minor(Above pic) - Very common weed of roadsides, disturbed places, cultivated grounds, etc. in the montaze zone. Flowering occurs throughout the year.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

නෙල්ලි[Nelli] (Phyllanthus emblica)

A tree of monsoon forests, savannah and dry patanas. Also widely cultivated in gardens. Native or introduced to Sri Lanka in the ancient time. Fruit edible and whole plant medicinal. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016