Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tamarisk (Tamarix indica)

Native shrub or small tree confined to the sea coast of North and Northwestern provinces. Sometimes also occurs in more inland sandy brackish areas. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

වෙල් ආතා [Wel Atha]/Pond Apple/Alligator Apple/Monkey Apple (Annona glabra)

An invasive tree spreading aggressively in southwestern wet lowland marshy areas, mangroves, near paddy fields, forest edges, etc. Common near the coast.  Native tree of tropical and sub tropical coastal areas of the America and west Africa. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

දොඹ/තෙල් දොඹ[Domba,Tel-Domba]/Alexandrian Laurel (Calophyllum inophyllum)

Common indigenous tree occurs mainly in the lowland coastal areas. Inland plants are either planted as ornamental or spontaneous.  Oil extracted from the seeds use as lamp oil, soap making and also painting wood works. Whole plant medicinal. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scarlet Flame Bean/Mountain Rose/Rose of Venezuela/Cooper Hoop (Brownea coccinea)

Native tree of Venezuela, GuyanaVenezuelaBrazil Trinidad and Tobago. Introduced to the Peradeniya botanical garden in 1849. Cultivated as an ornamental tree.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

මාදන්/මහ දන්[Madan/Mahadan]/Black Plum/Java Plum/Jamuna Tree/Indian Blackberry/Jambola (Syzygium cumini)

Native large shrub or tree common in the dry zone, especially along margin of streams and tanks. Also grows in northern sand dunes, where it plays a major part in anchoring the sands and stabilizing dune ridges. Flowering from May to August. Timber used in construction and fruit edible.  Bark and fruits are used in the traditional medicine.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

ඉලුක්[Illuk]/Blady Grass/Spear Grass/Cogon Grass (Imperata cylindrica)

Native perennial weed grows in coastal areas, sand dunes, open places, roadsides, waste lands,  agricultural fields, ditch banks, etc. from sea level to about 1200 m asl. It is ranked as one of the 10 worst invasive weeds of the world. Spear Grass usually flowering after stress such as drought, burning and cutting. The seeds disperse by the wind and remain viable for over one year. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oxystelma esculentum

Rather rare native twiner occurs in the drier part of the country, usually near tanks. Flowering throughout the year. Used as a remedy for hydrophobia in traditional medicine.

*Sinhala name for this plant is given as 'Usepale' [උස් ඇපැල?] in the Flora of Ceylon Vol 4 and as ගර්භිණී [Garbinee] in the Charles Carter's Sinhalese-English dictionary published in 1924.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

සායා [Saya]/Chaya Root (Oldenlandia umbellata)

Native prostrate herb occurs in dry sandy grounds along the coast and in the dry zone. Formerly cultivated in northern part of the country to yield a natural dye.

Monday, June 20, 2016

වල් රත් දිය ලබු[Wal rat diya labu]/Threeleaf cayratia (Cayratia trifolia)

Native liana occurs open vegetation in the lowlands, often near the coast behind the mangroves, in hedges and on waste lands. Flowering from June to November. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pale Palm Dart (Telicota colon kala)

Rather rare butterfly inhabiting grasslands and open meadows of the Uva and Sabaragamuwa hills and drier areas of the Central province. It probably flies year-round. Ormiston in 1924 recorded it from Galle and Wellawaya and noted that it is very common at times in Haldummulla.  Its larva feed on an unidentified grass species (van der Poorten G. & van der Poorten N. 2016). As per Ormiston it also feed on Sugar cane/උක් (Saccharum officinarum) which is extensively cultivated for sugar production in some areas.

References
  • van der Poorten G. & van der Poorten N. 2016,  The Butterfly Fauna of Sri Lanka.
  • Ormiston  W. 1924, The Butterflies of Ceylon, H.W.Cave & Co., Colombo 1924, AES Reprint New Delhi, 2003

Friday, June 17, 2016

මණ්ඩ/මඩ ගස්/උල් මණ්ඩ[Manda/Mada gas.Ul manda]/Grey mangrove/White mangrove (Avicennia marina)

Common indigenous small tree occurs in tidal mudflats, brackish swamps, seashores and lagoons all around the island. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year. Roots medicinal and wood use as a firewood and for boat construction. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pavonia odorata

An indigenous woody herb or sub shrub grows in scrublands, bases of rocky outcrops, secondary dry forest borders and roadsides from sea level to about 450 m a.s.l. in the dry zone.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

මරතෝණ්ඩි[Marathondi]/Camphire/Henna/Tree-Mignonette (Lawsonia inermis)

A shrub or small tree occurs in saline flats and hot dry places. Often cultivated. Indigenous or introduced and naturalized during an unknown period of the history. A dye obtain by powdering twigs and young leaves of this plant and adding hot water to form a paste is known since very ancient time. The dye is used to color hair, nails, teeth of humans as well as the tails and manes of horses and donkeys. Flowers with soap like smell are used as a perfume.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

හී‍රැස්ස[Hirassa]/Veldt grape (Cissus quadrangularis)

An indigenous succulent liana very common, especially near the seacoast in the dry zone scrublands. Flowering from August to June. Green stems are edible. Extract of the stem and roots are used in traditional medicine. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

කුඩු මිරිස්[Kudu miris] (Toddalia asiatica)

Rather common native climber with scrambling stem, occurs in both dry and wet zone forests from sea level to montane areas. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

හරන් කහ [Haran kaha] (Curcuma albiflora)

Rather rare endemic herb occurs in wet lowland forests, often close to streams and rivers. Flowering from February to June. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

අනිත්ත[Aniththa] (Rhinacanthus polonnaruwensis)

An endemic perennial herb rather common under shade of trees or shrubs close to water courses in secondary semi-evergreen forests of the dry lowlands. Flowering from May to September. Leaves and roots used in medicine.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Asiatic dewflower (Murdannia spirata)

Very common native procumbent or ascending herb grows along roadside ditches, edges of ponds, paddy fields and tanks, seepage areas on rocks, stream margins, open areas in forests, grassy places, under shrubs and trees, marshes, etc. from sea level to about 1260 m a.s.l. Flowering from November to May and July. Flowers opening around 10.00 A.M. and fading by 2.00 P.M.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

කෝපි[Kopi]/Coffee/Arabian coffee (Coffea arabica)

Native shrub of Ethiopia. Introduced to the Sri Lanka by Dutch about 1690. Cultivated in the hill country. Flowering during several short periods throughout the year, usually simultaneously with other bushes in the same area.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Oldenlandia herbacea

An indigenous herb grows in open places, roadsides, cultivated lands and rocky riverine crevices. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Butter daisy/රන් මානිස්ස[Ran manissa] (Melampodium divaricatum)

An introduced annual herb native to the Central America. Cultivated in gardens as an ornamental plant. Also escaped and naturalized in waste lands, 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

යකුල් මරන්[Yakul maran] (Syzygium zeylanicum)

Small native tree locally common in the dry and intermediate zones and the rocky summits at the margins of the main massif. Also occurs locally in coastal plains of the wet zone.