Sunday, November 26, 2017

Eragrostis viscosa

Common native perennial mainly occurs in coastal lowlands of the dry zone, usually on sandy foreshores and saline flats in association of grasslands. Also known to extend to the wet zone up to 500 m elevations along roadsides, as a weed of tea estates and disturbed grounds.

Panicle - Usually 5-11 cm long &1-2 cm wide
Spikelets - 2-3 mm long &1-1.5 mm wide

Saturday, November 18, 2017

කවලු[Kavalu] (Setaria parviflora)

An indigenous perennial weed common in open grassy areas, roadsides and patana lands from sea level to about 1500 m elevations. It is eaten by cattle. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

පොතු තණ[Potu Thana]/Carpet Grass (Axonopus compressus)

An introduced perennial native to tropical America. Naturalized and occurs in wide range of habitats as a ruderal and weed from sea level to about 1900 m a.s.l., mainly in the wet zone. It is used as a lawn grass.   

Thursday, November 16, 2017

බූ දෙනි තණ[Bu Deni Tana]/Bugseed Grass (Alloteropsis cimicina)

Common native grass species of most parts of the wet and dry lowlands up to about 1200 m a.s.l. of mid-hills  It occurs mainly in damp or shady sites in disturbed places, but also in varies other habitats including dry patana lands.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Guinea grass (Panicum maximum)

An introduced and naturalized perennial often forming large clumps. Probably native to the Africa. It occurs commonly in open grassy areas, river banks, neglected lawns, roadsides, pastures and plantations from sea level to about 1000 m elevations.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ගුරු තණ[Guru Tana] (Digitaria ciliaris)

An indigenous annual common along roadsides, paddy field borders, ditches and other disturbed sites from lowlands to intermediate elevations. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Brachiaria subquadripara

An indigenous perennial common in fallow fields, grassy roadsides, waste places  and along stream banks from sea level to about 1000 m a.s.l. It is a very good pasture grass. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Eragrostis unioloides

Common native grass species distributed throughout the island from sea level to about 2300 m elevations. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sour Grass (Paspalum conjugatum)

Probably a native grass of tropical America. Introduced to Sri Lanka and now a common weed in plantations, lawns, roadsides and other open grassy areas from sea level to about 1100 m elevations. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mission Grass/Crab Grass (Pennisetum polystachion)

Native plant of tropical Africa. Introduced to Sri Lanka as an ornamental grass. Escaped and naturalized along roadsides, cultivated lands, fallow fields, etc. from sea level to about 1100 m a.s.l. It has become an invasive weed of forests and plantations. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

ලෙව්[Lev]/Bareet Grass (Leersia hexandra)

An indigenous grass species common in marshes, ponds and paddy fields throughout the island. Serious weed in paddy fields though used as a fodder for cattle.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

බැල තණ/වල්මල් කුරක්කන්[Bela Tana/Walmal Kurakkan]/Goose Grass(Eleusine indica)

Common indigenous annual or short-lived perennial widely distributed in both wet and dry zones up to about 1400 m elevations.  Often a weed of cultivation. Also occurring in tea estates, lawns, gardens, waste areas, roadsides as well as lowland jungles. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

කලඳන/කලමරුවා[Kaladana/Kalamaruwa] Ipomoea nil

An introduced ornamental vine native to the America. Escaped and naturalized along roadsides, disturbed areas and scrublands, mostly in the wet zone. But also found near coast in the northern dry zone.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sacciolepis interrupta

Common native grass species occurs in paddy fields, marshes and shallow lakes from low to medium elevations. It is eaten by cattle. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

බටදැල්ල[Batadhalla] (Isachne globosa)

Common native annual or short-lived perennial grass species grows in marshy habitats, rice fields, stream banks and ditches from sea level to 1800 m a.s.l. Troublesome weed of  paddy fields though use as a fodder for cattle. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

බද මල් තණ[Bada Mal Tana] (Ischaemum muticum)

An indigenous perennial occurs mainly near sea level on beaches, sandy shores and coconut plantations. An endemic variety srilankense is known only from two collections made in a single population from Pallugaturai of Puttalam district.

Friday, November 3, 2017

ගිරා තණ/හීන් මාරතු[Heen Marathu/Gira Thana]/Wild Millet (Echinochloa colona)

Common native tufted annual widely distributed often in or near water as weed of paddy fields and disturbed grounds from sea level to 1300 m a.s.l. in all three climatic zones. The grass including seed is readily eaten by cattle. The grain is used as food in India by poorer classes and in Myanmar in times of scarcity. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

දිය පාසි[Diya Pasi]/Yellow Bladderwort (Utricularia aurea)

An indigenous aquatic herb common in the tanks, ditches, pools and swamps at low altitudes, mainly in the dry regions. Flowering from August to December (Probably throughout the year)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

කෙකටිය [Kekatiya](Aponogeton crispus)

An indigenous aquatic herb with submerged and floating leaves occurs in lakes, ponds and tanks from sea level to about 1300 m a.s.l, mainly in the northern and western part of the country down to Panadura. Flowering throughout the year. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

නාරිලතා [Narilatha] (Habenaria crinifera)

Rather rare indigenous terrestrial herb grows in the shade of trees in dry mixed evergreen forests and mid-country jungles up to 915 m a.s.l.

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