Saturday, October 21, 2017

බිං කොහොඹ[bin Kohomba](Munronia pinnata)

An indigenous unbranched shrublet on rocks in the wet, intermediate and dry zone forests and scrub lands from sea level to about 1000 m a.s.l. Often cultivated and becoming scarce in the wild due to over exploitation. Whole plant medicinal and used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat fever, dysentery and skin diseases. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

හීන් ඌරු මීයා[Heen Uru Meeya]/Lesser Bandicoot Rat/Mole Rat (Bandicota bengalensis)

Common rat distributed throughout the island, especially in the rice-growing areas. It make burrows in the paddy field embankments and village gardens to live and stores up large quantities of stolen grains. The nearly circular store chambers are located not far from the breeding or living chamber and hollowed out in the middle or to one side of the main tunnel. Usually there are two store chambers and sometime as many as three or four of them are not uncommon. Each burrow appear to be made and inhabited by one adult or by a female and her pups. Lesser Bandicoot is one of the most prolific rat and female produce a family of 10-12 young at each birth and has several families during each year. Females of Lesser Bandicots start producing young at about 5 months old and they live for over 1.5 years. It is a nocturnal animal rarely seen in the day time. It also feed on herbs, grass roots, tubers like sweet potatoes, rubber and other seeds, etc. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

වලු නුග[Walu Nuga]/Weeping Fig/Benjamin Fig(Ficus benjamina)

A large banyan with few or no aerial roots from branches. Distributed in India and South China to the Soloman islands. Introduced to Sri Lanka and planted as a shade tree. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great Crow/King Crow (Euploea phaenareta corus)

Rather uncommon butterfly flies in well wooded coastal wetlands and mangroves of southwestern part of the country from Negombo to Galle. Further inland it can be also found in Sinharaja forest reserve near Kudawa, Kanneliya forest reserve and Kottawa forest reserve. Great Crow is a shade loving insect spends much of its time resting on leaves or twigs of forest trees while flies only hour or two after sunrise. Its larva feed on leaves of Cerbera odollam (ගොන් කඳුරු) trees. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cyperus difformis

Common native annual widely distributed in wet places of all climatic zones. Often found in paddy fields.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

බටකිරිල්ල[Bata Kirilla] (Erythroxylum moonii)

An indigenous shrub or small tree occurs along streams in wet zone forests up to 1000 m a.s.l. Rather common and flowering and fruiting from August to December. Juice of the leaves is used in traditional medicine to treat diarrhea.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Knoxia sumatrensis

An indigenous herb occurs as two varieties in the island.

  • Knoxia sumatrensis sumatrensis - Grows from lowlands to about 1300 m elevations
  • Knoxia sumatrensis hookeriana (Above picture) - Found in mountainous regions from 500 to 2200 m a.s.l. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

මස් මොර [Mas Mora] (Adenanthera aglaosperma)

Rather rare endemic tree found in southwestern wet lowland forests.

*Adenanthera bicolor Moon is a misapplied name which has been erroneously used to refer to Adenanthera aglaosperma Alston. (

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ගස් කොතල[Gas Kotala](Artanema longifolium)

Rather rare native herb found under shade along forest borders, waste lands and paddy field borders from wet lowlands to about 1100 m elevations in lower hills. Flowering from May to November. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

මුරුත[Muruta]/Pride of India/Queen's flower (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

An indigenous tree rare in moist wet lowlands up to 600 m a.s.l. (As per Thwaites and Trimen) or extinct in the wild. But commonly planted not only moist wet lowlands but also in the hill country and in relatively dry areas. According to Lewis (1934) there had been a white-flowered variant of this from Kelani river near Kitulgala. Roots, barks and seeds are used in medicine. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

කොල්ලන් කොළ/ගං කොල්ලන් කොළ/ගස් කොලන් කොළ[ Kollan Kola/Gan Kollan Kola/Gas Kolan Kola] (Pogostemon heyneanus)

An indigenous undershrub common in damp undergrowth of montane forests in the lower and higher uplands from 700 to 2000 m a.s.l. Also cultivated in the lowlands as a medicinal plant. Flowering from January to October.  Leaves and roots used in medicine.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cleghornia acuminata

An endemic liana rather rare in the hill country forests from 600 to 1500 m elevations.
Flower size - Corolla tube 0.2 - 0.3 cm long and corolla lobe half as long as the tube.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Henckelia angusta [Syn: Chirita angusta]

An endemic herb found on rocks along and in small forest streams of the southwestern wet zone up to foothills of the Ratnapura district. Usually grows in dense shade.  Flowering in March and August (probably irregularly throughout the year) 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

වල්ලා/වල්ලා පට්ටා/පට්ටා වල්ලා[Walla/Walla Patta/Patta Walla](Gyrinops walla)

An indigenous shrub or tree grows in Southwestern moist forests up to about 1000 m elevations of the Central province. It also occurs in extreme southwest of the India but where it  appears to be very rare. Its extremely tough, fibrous easily stripped bark is used for the cordage. Whole plant medicinal

Flower size - 0.5 cm across

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Plectranthus kanneliyensis

An endemic perennial herb grows in partial shade by streams in secondary wet lowland forests up to about 200 m a.s.l. A gregarious plant flowering from June to September. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

ආරිද්ද[Aridda]Campnosperma zeylanica

An endemic small to large tree occurs in wet lowland forests. Flowering from March to April

Flower size - About 0.6 cm across.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ceylon Palm Bob/Small Palm Bob (Suastus minuta minuta)

Rather rare insect found in forested habitats of southwestern wet zone. Few colonies are also inhabiting below Revestone and Corbet's Gap areas of the Knuckles range. It's flight season is from April to June (Woodhouse noted that it has been captured between July and November in Kandy district). The larval host plants are Loxococcus rupicola[රන් දෝතළු]Calamus pseudotenuis[හීන් වේවැල්] (At the higher elevations) and Calamus radiatus[කුකුළු වැල්] (At the lower elevations). It probably feeds on leaves of other Calamus species.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cyperus pilosus

Rather common native plant of moist low country to higher hills. Also in Intermediate zone.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rhynchospora corymbosa

Common native plant occurs in open marshy areas and margins of paddy fields at low elevations. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fuirena umbellata

Common native perennial herb found on open wet or swampy places from sea level to about 1800 m a.s.l.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

උගුඩුවා/කලවැද්දා[Uguduwa/Kalawadda]/Common Palm Civet/Toddy Cat/Palm Cat (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)

Common animal distributed throughout the island, inhabiting rocky outcrops and/or trees in the country side and roofs of houses in urban areas. It is a purely nocturnal mammal and spends the day time curled up, asleep in its day time hideout usually a ceiling of a house in cities where rocky areas or tall trees are not readily available. It is mainly an arboreal animal and  feeds fruits and berries such as papaw, passion fruits, pineapple, kithul (Caryota urens) etc. But Common Palm Civet also eats rats, mice, frogs, birds, spiders, cockroaches as well as domestic chickens. It has a habit of depositing its droppings which often contain large quantities of undigested kithul and other hard-shelled seeds, on the top of large rocks and fallen tree trunks. It breeds throughout the year though more young are seen in the latter part of the year before the North-East monsoon. The young are brought forth in a hole in a tree, dry nook under overhanging rocks or often in a dry corner of a ceiling. Usually litter size is 3 or 4 in Sri Lanka. Except when a mother is accompanied by her broods it is usually seen singly.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kyllinga bulbosa

Common native perennial of grasslands, roadsides waste places and scrub lands, mainly in the dry lowlands.

* As per Senaratna L.K., 2001 Kyllinga bulbosa Beauv. is a synonym of Cyperus triceps (Rottb.) Endl. But according to the Cyperus triceps Endl. is a synonym of Cyperus dubius Rottb. accept Kyllinga bulbosa as a separate species.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kyllinga polyphylla [Syn: Cyperus aromaticus]

An introduced weed native to the tropical Africa and Madagascar. According to the Flora of Ceylon Vol 5 it was only known from a place between Pussellawa and Ramboda at mile 28/10 along Kandy -Nuwaraeliya Rd (950 m a.s.l. ) in the Nuwaraeliya district. It is also noted that apparently it was a rather recent introduction. Since then (1985) it seems that it has become a widely distributed weed in paddy fields, marshes and roadsides, at least in the moist areas from lowland to the hill country (Personal observations). 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Umbrella papyrus/Umbrella sedge (Cyperus alternifolius)

An introduced tall perennial, native to the tropical Africa and Arabia. Widely cultivated as an ornamental and also escaped and naturalized in grassy places. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

අනිත්ත[Aniththa] (Rhinacanthus flavovirens)

Rhinacanthus flavovirens is a recently described endemic perennial herb distributed in secondary forests of North Central, Central and Southern province dry lowlands. It occurs under shade of trees close to watercourses.

Reference : Amarasinghe A.P.P.R.& Wijesundara D.S.A., 2011, A new species of rhinacanthus (Acanthaceae) from Sri lanka, Edinburge Journal of Botany 68(3): 333-337 (2011)

Monday, April 3, 2017

මහ රතඹලා[Maha Ratambala]/Torch Tree(Ixora pavetta)

Common native shrub or small tree distributed in dry deciduous forests of the low country and lower montane zones. Flowering from March to July.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

මොට්ටු තණ[Mottu Tana] (Cyperus kyllingia)

Very common grass like native perennial herb occurs in waste places, roadsides, home gardens and grass lands of both wet and dry lowlands up to mid hills(?)

* According to Cyperus kyllingia Endl. is a synonym of Rhynchospora colorata (L.) H.Pfeiff. - and Kyllinga nemoralis (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) Dandy ex Hutch. & Dalziel is an accepted name but it is a synonym of Cyperus kyllingia Endl. as per Senaratna K., 2001 -

Saturday, April 1, 2017

ගල් ඇඹල[Gal Ambala] (Begonia cordifolia)

An indigenous perennial stemless herb occurs mainly in pockets of humus on rock surfaces, mostly in shade, but occasionally on exposed moist surfaces. It grows mainly in the Southeastern intermediate zone from 100 to 500 m elevations. Flowering from December to March. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

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

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

පඹුරු[Pamburu](Pamburus missionis)

An indigenous small tree, rather common in dry lowland areas. Often occurs in sandy coastal areas. Flowering in April

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ගිණිහිරිය[Ginihiriya] (Sauropus quadrangularis)

An indigenous shrub of dry and intermediate zones.

* Sauropus rigidus Thw. which was considered as a rare endemic species is now treated as a synonym of Sauropus quadrangularis (Willd.) Muell. Arg.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Eriocaulon ceylanicum

An endemic perennial herb grows in swampy grasslands, ditches and stream margins of the higher hills from 2000 to 2400 m elevations. Flowering from October to May.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Grewia bracteata

An indigenous shrub or small tree grows in lower montane forests of the intermediate zone.

Friday, March 24, 2017

දියමිත්ත[Diyamitta]/Velvet leaf(Cissampelos pareira)

Common native slender woody climber occurs throughout the island up to 1200 m a.s.l. Scrambling and twining over shrubs and in trees of forests. Roots, stem and leaves are used in medicine.

Male flower (Picture) Size = 3 mm 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

දොඩම් පනා[Dodam Pana](Glycosmis pentaphylla)

An indigenous shrub or small tree  found in secondary thickets and forest borders of dry and intermediate zone up to about 1000 m a.s.l.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Justicia tranquebariensis

Common native herb or small undershrub grows in light shade among rocks or in sandy ground among short grass in the dry lowlands. Flowering from January to September.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

වැල් කරල් හැබ[Wel karal Haba]/Forest Burr/Creeping Cock's Comb(Pupalia lappacea var. lappacea)

An indigenous herb occurs as two varieties in the island.
  •  P, l, lappacea (Above Picture) - Grows open dry places along forest edges.
  •  P. l. orbiculata  - Common in the sandy places behind the shoreline.

Monday, March 20, 2017

කෙකිළි මැස්ස/කුකුළු මැස්ස[Kekili Messa/Kukulu Messa](Miliusa indica)

Common indigenous shrub or small tree widespread from sea level to about 1000 m a.s.l. in both wet and dry zone forests. But confined to the secondary vegetation in the wet zone. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

රත පඹ/රට පඹ/බඹු[Ratha Pamba/Rata Pamba/Bambu](Ipomoea quamoclit)

An introduced vine native to the tropical America. Widely cultivated in gardens as an ornamental and also escaped and naturalized in thickets and other disturbed sites. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

බෝවිටියා/හීන් බෝවිටියා [Bowitiya, Heen Bowitiya](Osbeckia octandra)

An endemic much-branched shrub occurs in grasslands, open places and disturbed grounds along roadsides in both wet and dry lowlands and sometimes also in high elevations in the montane zone. Leaves and roots are used in medicine. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Utricularia graminifolia

Common native small herb found on wet rocks and other such wet places from 500 to 2400 m elevations. White stems of this plant with traps (Stolon), running in the moist underground can capture small aquatic animals. Sometime large leaves also have traps.