Sunday, December 31, 2017

මතබිම්බිය/මැටිඹේබිය[Matabimbiya/Matibembiya] (Maesa indica)

Common native shrub or small tree grows in shady places of moist region, especially in the hills up to about 2000 m elevations. Flowering and fruiting occurs from February to April. Fruits edible.

Flower size - About 0.25 cm across

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Great Orange Tip/Giant Orange Tip (Hebomoia glaucippe)

Largest Pieridae butterfly of the island with very fast flight. It often flies very high. Great Orange Tip occurs all over the country close to forest areas and in scrublands but much common in the dry lowlands up to about 100ft a.s.l. Larva feeds on Capparis mooni(රුදන්ති) in the hills and Capparis roxburghii(කලු ඉල්ලන්ගෙඩි), Crateva adansonii(ලුණුවරණ) and Capparis sepiaria(රිලා කටු) in the dry lowlands. Males settle on damp earth to absorb minerals. It is a migratory species and Ormiston mention about a flight of many thousands in November 1912 (“The largest flight I ever saw was in November, 1912. From south of Maho to Ambanpola, on the Northern line, the train passed for nearly half an hour through a swarm of many thousands” (Ormiston W., 1924))

Thursday, December 28, 2017

කෙකටිය[kekatiya](Aponogeton natans)

An indigenous aquatic herb  occurs in stagnant, shallow most probably temporary waters, paddy fields, ponds and marshlands from sea level to about 800 m elevations. Flowering throughout the year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Bothriochloa pertusa

An indigenous tufted perennial common in pastures and grassy borders at low and medium elevations and lower montane zone. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Cynodon barberi

Rather rare native perennial mainly occurs in the dry lowlands. Loosely mat-forming usually in open damp sites. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pin-tailed Snipe/උල්පෙඳ කැස්වටුවා[Ulpendha Keswatuwa] (Gallinago stenura)

Common winter migrant to the weedy swamps, wet grasslands and paddy fields throughout the island though much common in the lowlands. While its stay in Sri Lanka Pin-tailed snipe is mainly a nocturnal bird. But in undisturbed areas it would often feed until late hours of the morning and again in the afternoon. It feeds mainly on insects and their larvae as well as earthworms, using its long beak, the tip of which is highly sensitive and also can be open widely while the rest of it remains closed. Pin-tailed snipe breeds in eastern Asia.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

හීන් බිං කොහොඹ[Heen Bin Kohomba] (Andrographis paniculata)

Very rare indigenous herb considered as a Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) in the 2012 Red list. However Jayasinghe H.D. has reported it in a home garden at Hammaliya of the Kurunegala district in 2013-14. Pictures posted with this post were observed at a roadside embankment at Dondra (දෙවිනුවර/දෙවුන්දර) of Matara district in mid of December 2017 with flowers. Several plants were seen in the vicinity. As per Dasanayaka M.D. & Clayton W.D. two varieties of this herb occurs in Sri Lanka. Variety paniculata grows in semi-shade in waste places by roadsides in the moist and dry lowlands and moist mid country, while endemic variety glandulosa is found in sub-montane forests. Flowering from January to April. Whole plant medicinal. 

References:
  • Dasanayaka M.D. & Clayton W.D., 1998, A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon, Volume XII
  • The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds.,Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 99-113 pp
  • Jayasinghe H.D., 2015 Notes on observations of some threatened flowering plants of Sri Lanka including two “Extinct” species.Himesh Dilruwan Jayasinghe, NeBIO I An international journal of environment and biodiversity Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2015, 1 - 8

Friday, December 22, 2017

Eriochloa procera

Common native perennial widespread in grasslands, marshes, scrubs, forests, as a weed in cultivation such as coconut plantations and along irrigation canals throughout the island except in the upper montane zone. Often occurs on open, damp or seasonally flooded sites. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

සුදු හඳුන් [Sudu Handun]/Sandal Wood (Santalum album)

Native tree or shrub of India. Introduced to Sri Lanka and cultivated for its commercially valuable aromatic Sandalwood. Also escaped and naturalized in some areas. Sandalwood oil, which is widely used in traditional medicine is also extracted from the woods of this tree. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sporobolus coromandelianus

An indigenous erect annual common in open or disturbed sites of the dry and arid lowlands. Also a major component of upper level of 'Damana' grasslands.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017

Indian Bur Grass (Tragus mongolorum [Syn: Tragus roxburghii])

Common native annual or short-lived perennial  occurs in coastal areas of dry and arid zones. Flowering all the year round.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sand Martin/Pale Martin/ඉවුරු වැහිළිහිණියා/කරපටි ඉවුරුළිහිණියා[Iwuru Waehilihiniya/Karapati Iwurulihiniya] (Riparia riparia)

Rare but regular winter migrant to open areas, often near water of the dry lowlands. Mainly observed in the southern coastal areas. Usually seen on telephone wires/power lines together with Barn SwallowsSand Martin breeds in northern India and North America.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Corkystem passionflower/Indigo berry (Passiflora suberosa)

Very common slender climber native to tropical America. Introduced and naturalized in forests and forest margins of all climatic zones up to 2000 m elevations. Flowering and fruiting from June to December.