Plants and Flowers of India Jasminum sambac Mogara

Jasminum sambac can either be a shrub (plant which is smaller than a tree with multiple branches) or  a vine (a climbing or trailing woody-stemmed plant).  Jasmine flowers have a sweet aroma. Jasminum sambac love warm climate they need full sun for proper growth and flowering. The flowers are used for making perfumes for their sweet fragrance and are also used for making tea.  The national flower of Philippines and Indonesia is Jasminum sambac, in Philippines it is called as sampaguita and in Indonesia it is called as melati putih. Jasminum sambac is also known as Philippine Jasmine, Arabian jasmine, Pikake in Hawaii, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Kampupot, and Melati .  In India it is known as  Mogara in Marathi, Koda Mulla in Malayalam, Juhi Mahli in Oriya, Motiya in Punjabi, Malti in Sanskrit , Malligai in Tamil, Mallepuvvu in Telugu.
Jasminum sambac

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Does Color Exist Independently In The Outside World?

Most of us will agree that the world appears beautiful or ugly, mainly because of the vivid colors that we see around us. Imagine a world without colors, it would be so dull and boring. But how many of us have really wondered as to what color really is? The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. The portion of the  wavelengths falling in the visible spectrum is called visible light or simply light. It is interesting to know that the many species of birds and insects can see light that does not fall in human visible spectrum. For example there are nectar guides on flowers that are visible only to the bees, as bees have ultraviolet vision and humans don’t.  Also some birds have sex-dependent markings on their plumage that are visible only in the ultraviolet range.
Now lets turn our attention to some hard facts. “Does color exist independently in the outside world?” Or is it, that some frequencies in the visible spectrum are coded in the brain as a particular color? Eg wavelength 495–570 nm is coded as green, wavelength 450–495 nm is coded as blue and so on….And the answer is yes, COLOR that we are so familiar with is nothing but a construct of our own BRAIN. The visible spectrum just has different wavelengths corresponding to different colors. But the color itself appears only in the BRAIN.
In the following video the renowned neuroscientist, David Eagleman, PhD explains how reality is a matter of individual perception.

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Plants and Trees of Pune and India

Euphorbia cotinifolia is a broadleaf evergreen shrub native to Mexico and South America. Common names of this plant are as follows Smoketree spurge, tropical smoke bush, and Caribbean copper plant. This plant grows well in well drained soil and full sun. During winter keep it in area with maximum sun.  The name Euphorbia is considered by many in South Africa as synonymous with poison. So be careful while handling this plant. Some fishermen add the sap to water during fishing. The poison stun fish and as a result the float on the surface. The sap may cause severe irritation when it comes in contact with human skin.
Euphorbia cotinifolia

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Trees and Plants of India and Pune Gulmohar Flamboyant

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as Flame tree. In India it is known as Gulmohar in Hindi. It is also known there as Krishnachura or Krusnachuda (Bengali/Oriya: crown of the Krishna) and Krishnasura (in Assamese and Bengali). In Kerala, it is known as Kaalvaripoo. The Delonix Regia is found in Madagascar’s dry deciduous forests. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (mostly 5 meters, but it can reach an maximum height of 12 meters) but spreads widely, and its dense foliage provides full shade. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen. Flowers appear in corymbs along and at the ends of branches. Pods are green and flaccid when young and turn dark-brown and woody.
Delonix regia,  Gulmohar, flamboyant

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune

Datura is a genus of nine species of poisonous vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae. They are known as angel’s trumpets, sometimes sharing that name with the closely related genus Brugmansia, and commonly known as daturas. They are also sometimes called moonflowers, one of several plant species to be so. Its precise and natural distribution is uncertain, owing to its extensive cultivation and naturalization throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the globe.  All species of Datura are poisonous, especially their seeds and flowers.  The Neo-Latin name Datura is taken from Hindi धतूरा dhatūra ‘jimson weed’, ultimately from Sanskrit धत्तूर dhattūra ‘white thorn-apple’.
Datura Fruit
Datura Fruit

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Vegetable Plants of India

Okra known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers, bhindi, bamia, ochro or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of West African, Ethiopian, and South Asian origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world. The name okra is most often used in the United States and the Philippines, with a variant pronunciation in Caribbean English of okro. The word okra is West African in origin, probably from Igbo ọ́kụ̀rụ̀. The plant and its seed pods are also known as “lady’s fingers”.  In various Bantu languages, okra is called (ki)ngombo or a variant,  and this is possibly the origin of the name “gumbo”, used in parts of the United States and the English-speaking Caribbean.  In Swahili, the fruit is called Bamia, with the whole plant being referred to as Mbamia. In much of South Asia, it is called by some variant of bhindi, a name also heard in the United Kingdom, but English-speakers in Bengal call it dherosh.
Bhendi, Bhindi, Okra, ladies' fingers

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Trees and Plants of Pune and India

Guavas are common tropical fruits cultivated and enjoyed in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava (common guava, lemon guava) is a small tree in the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Although related species may also be called guavas, they actually belong to other genera, such as the “strawberry guava” Acca sellowiana. The most frequently eaten species, and the one often simply referred to as “the guava”, is the Apple Guava. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The term “guava” appears to derive from Arawak guayabo “guava tree”, via the Spanish guayaba. It has been adapted in many European and Asian languages, having a similar form. Another term for guavas is peru, derived from pear. It is common in countries bordering the western Indian Ocean and probably derives from Spanish or Portuguese. In the Indian subcontinent and Middle-East, guava is called amrood, possibly a variant of armoot meaning “pear” in the Arabic and Turkish languages.
Guava Flower

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Birds of Pune and India

The Indian robin  is a species of bird in the Muscicapidae family. It is widespread in the Indian subcontinent, and ranges across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The males of northern populations have a brown back whose extent gradually reduces southwards with populations in the southern peninsula having an all black back. They are commonly found in open scrub areas and often seen running along the ground or perching on low thorny shrubs and rocks. Their long tails are held erect and their chestnut undertail covert and dark body make them easily distinguishable from the pied bushchat and the oriental magpie robin.
Indian Robin

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Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky on Color

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky 16 December was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat—Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.
Kandinsky’s creation of abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense thought based on his artistic experiences. He called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and spiritual desire inner necessity; it was a central aspect of his art.
Pride of India

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Plants and Flowers of India Pride Of India

Lagerstroemia speciosa also known as pride of india. This is a species native to tropical southern Asia. It is grown in South East Asia, India and the Philippines. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas.  A small to medium-sized tree growing to 20 metres. The flowers bloom from April to June.  The flowers are up to 7.5 cm wide. This tree is also know as Queen’sCrepe  Myrtle.  This tree is also found in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam as  well  as Indonesia,  Malaysia  and  the  Philippines.
Lagerstroemia speciosa

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