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.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

පොතු පලා[Pothu-pala] (Aniseia martinicensis)

Native vine with herbaceous stem of Central and South America. Introduced and naturalized in swampy areas, especially in paddy fields of southwestern lowlands. Leaves edible. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

මයුර තණ[Mayura Tana] (Chloris barbata)

An introduced grass to Sri Lanka probably from tropical America. Naturalized in the low country, mainly in the dry zone. A weed of waste places, coastal areas, abandoned cultivation, etc.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

හක්-ඇඹල/මහ හක්-ඇඹල[Hak-Ambala/Maha Hak-Ambala](Begonia malabarica)

Widely distributed in shady spots on rocky hill slopes and by streams of the wet zone forests from 100-1500 m elevations. Also occurs in wet and shady places in the isolated dry zone hills. Flowering throughout the year. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lowland Kangaroo Lizard/Earless Lizard/පිනුම් කටුස්සා/තැලි කටුස්සා[Pinum Katussa/Thali Katussa] (Otocryptis nigristigma)

An endemic lizard rather common in dry lowlands up to about 400 m elevations. It lives  among leaf litter of forest floor and sometimes even on tree trunks and rocks. Lowland Kangaroo Lizard inhabits both natural as well as the anthropogenic habitats, if adequate shade and leaf litter is available.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

ගස්-කැප්පෙටියා[Gas-Keppetiya] (Croton laccifer)

Native shrub or small tree grows in forests and bordering areas up to about 800m elevations in both dry and wet regions. Leaves use to control soil-borne pests in paddy fields and betel-vine plantations. Lac use in traditional lacquer works is a secretions of a certain scale-insect species (Tachardia lacca) living on the tender branches of this tree sucking juice of them. Roots, bark and leaves use in traditional medicine.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

මුකුනුවැන්න/මුඟුනුවැන්න[Mukunu-wenna,Mugunuwenna]/Sessile joyweed/Tangle mat(Alternanthera sessilis)

Very common introduced herb occurs in paddy fields, ditches, roadsides, gardens and disturbed places in lowlands up to about 1180 m elevations. Eaten as a vegetable and often cultivated.