Plants and Flowers of India and Pune periwinkle Sadafuli

Catharanthus roseus, commonly known as the Madagascar periwinkle or rosy periwinkle, is a species of Catharanthus native and endemic to Madagascar. Other English names occasionally used include Vinca, Cape periwinkle, rose periwinkle, rosy periwinkle, and “old-maid”. It was formerly classified in the Vinca genus as Vinca rosea. It is an evergreen subshrub or herbaceous plant growing 1 m tall. The species has long been cultivated for herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant.  As an ornamental plant, it is appreciated for its hardiness in dry and nutritionally deficient conditions, popular in subtropical gardens where temperatures never fall below 5 °C to 7 °C, and as a warm-season bedding plant in temperate gardens. It is noted for its long flowering period, throughout the year in tropical conditions, and from spring to late autumn, in warm temperate climates. Full sun and well-drained soil are preferred. Numerous cultivars have been selected, for variation in flower colour (white, mauve, peach, scarlet and reddish-orange).
White Sadafuli periwinkle

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune

Mandevilla species are native to the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and South America. Many originate from the Serra dos Órgãos forests in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The genus was named after Henry Mandeville (1773-1861), a British diplomat and gardener.  The flowers come in a variety of colours, including white, pink, yellow, and red. These are climbing perennials. They need direct sunlight, but if heat is too strong keep in semi shade. Mandevilla need to be protected in winter, when the temperature drops below 10 degree centigrade bring them indoors but make sure that they get enough sunlight. Also they need well-drained soil.
Mandevilla flower

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Monkeys seen in Mahabaleshwar Bonnet Macaque

Bonnet Macaque monkeys are one of the monkeys seen in Mahabaleshwar India. A recent study carried out in India suggests that there is drastic decline in the population of bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) monkeys. It was observed that the monkey was found in less than 40% of the locations where it was previously reported, in earlier studies.  To know the actual conservation status more of such studies need to be carried out. Link 1

Given below are the names of the  bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) monkey in local languages of India.
In Hindi language – its known as bandar, in Kannada language (Place Karnataka)-its known as manga, kothi, kapi, maungya, kemp manga , in Kodava language  (Place-Kodagu also known as Coorg in southwestern Karnataka) its known as mucha, kapi, korda , In Konkani language (Konkan) its known as mānkad,     In Malayalam language (Kerala) its known as  kurangan, markadan, In Marathi language (Maharashtra) its known as mākad ,lal manga, wānar, kerda In Tamil Language (Tamil Nadu) it is known as sengurangu, vella kurangu, In Telugu Language (Andhra Pradesh) its known as Kothi, In Toda language ( Nilgiri Hills of southern India) it is known as Kodan.
bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) monkeys

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Monkeys of India and Mahabaleshwar Bonnet Macaque Macaca Radiata

The bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) is a macaque endemic to southern India.  Its distribution is limited by the Indian Ocean on three sides and the Godavari and Tapti Rivers. This Old World monkey is a diurnal animal. It has cheek pouches for holding food. The bonnet macaque feeds on fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, invertebrates and cereals. The bonnet macaque, like other macaques, shares a linear dominance hierarchy; the ‘alpha’ male is the most dominant male of the troop, followed by a ‘beta’ male and a ‘gamma’ male, and so on according to their dominance. Similarly, females also follow this linear hierarchy. The male and female hierarchies are different and of a non overlapping or non mixing types. Males are usually dominant over females. The females’ dominance hierarchy is stable (rarely changes), whilst the males’ dominance hierarchy is very dynamic. In the male hierarchy, males close in rank often fight to rise in rank.
Bonnet Bacaque Macaca Radiata

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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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