Plants and Flowers of India New Guinea Impatiens or Impatiens Hawkeri

New Guinea Impatiens (Balsam) or Impatiens hawkeri is a  beautiful flowering plant and they are much larger than any other Impatiens. And most importantly they can be grown in shade. Most of the flowering plants bloom only when exposed to full sun, but Impatiens in general bloom in shade as well. Another plant that flowers well in shade is hydrangea and of course Orchids.  Impatiens in general can be grown indoors near the window if there is sufficient sunlight. The soil should be well drained. They do not need much watering. But if you feel the soil is getting dry water the plant. It is important to keep the soil just moist.  Do not water as other plants as Impatiens are over sensitive to soggy soil.New Guinea Impatiens are a bit more Sun tolerant than common  Impatiens. These plants are perennials.  Impatiens are sensitive to cold climate their USDA hardiness zone is  9a to 11. New Guinea Impatiens need slightly acidic soil pH should be in the range of 6.1 to 6.5.
New Guinea Impatiens, Impatiens hawkeri, Balsam
Summary
Sun Exposure: Morning Sun, Afternoon Shade
Soil: Well drained but moist, Over sensitive to soggy soil
pH: 6.1 to 6.5 – Slightly acidic
Max Height: 1 feet
Drought-tolerant: No
Propagation Methods: Herbaceous stem cuttings, Seeds
Bloom Color:  Blue, Orange, Pink, Red, White
Foliage: Bronze-Green,
Duration: Perennial
Flowering Season: Summer, Late Summer
Invasive potential: Not Invasive
Pests and Diseases: Western flower thrips, Necrotic Spot Virus, Botrytis blight
Plant Character: Blooms in shade morning Sun is sufficient
USDA Hardiness Zone: 9a to 11
Uses: Hanging baskets or as Potted plants
Maintenance:  Medium
Medicinal: No

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Butterflies of India and Pune Tawny Coster or Acraea terpsicore

The Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) is found in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand. It is mainly  seen during mansoons and rarely seen during dummer. It is common in grassland and scrub habitats. Tawny (Anglo-French tané) is of an orange-brown or yellowish-brown colour. Acraea terpsicore is the Indian representative of the African Acraeini. The males of Tawny Coster are deep Orange(Tawny) while the females are lighter in shade. The Tawny Coster is a small butterfly about 2.0 to 2.5 inches in size. It has a weak flight. It has been recorded at heights of up to 7,000 ft. Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) has developed a defense mechanism to make it less edible it has some smelly oily substance on its skin. Usually the host plant of Tawny Coster or Acraea terpsicore is Passiflora See links Plants and Flowers of India Passiflora Incarnata see also  Passion Flower and Butterflies the Gulf Fritillary it also lays eggs on Turnera Ulmifolia The eggs are deposited in batches of 20/50/100. The eggs hatch in about 7 days. For about 10 days the larvae feed on leaves and other food. Then they pupate. The pupal stage is for about 6 days. And then the butterfly emerges. Photo taken in Pune plant: Passiflora Incarnata Butterfly Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore)
Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore)
Found in: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand.
Color: Orange, Tawny
Attractive: Yes
Looks Similar to : Yellow Coster (Acraea issoria) , Acraeini (African)
Egg hatching time: 7 Days
Larvae feeding time: 10 days
Pupal Stage: 6 Days

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune Tiny Double You Lily

Scientific name Botanical name Lilium hybrida. Tiny Double You lilies are compact,  and  are new generation of pot lilies which are genetically short, the flowers are orange in color. The flowers bloom in early to late summer. Tiny Double You lilies are herbaceous perennials and they grow to about 12 to 15 inches in height. In warmer climates they should be kept in partial shade. They should be watered regularly but the soil should be well drained. This plant propagates through bulbs. USDA Zone 4B to 9B and the soil pH requirement is mild acidic to Neutral pH 6.1 to 7.5 They can be planted in cocopeat. But make sure you add adequate neutrants for proper growth and flowering. Adding humus and some heavy soil would help. Cow mannure also heps the plant growth and flowering. This plant is available in plant nurseries of Pune, India.
Tiny Double You, Lilium hybrida, Asiatic Patio Lilies
Sun Exposure: Full sun in cold climates. IN warmer climates partial shade
Max Height: 15 Inches
Drought-tolerant: No
Propagation Methods: Bulbs
Bloom Color : Orange
Foliage: Green
Duration: Perennial (more than 2 years)
Flowering Season: Summer/late summer
Invasive potential: Not invasive
Pests and Diseases: Not known
Plant Character: Leaves fall off during winter
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4B to 9B
Uses: Borders, Pots, Massed
Maintenance: Medium
National Flower of: None
Medicinal: No
Growth Rate: Medium

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Understanding Fiber and Nutrition in Okra or Bhindi

Okra (Scientific name Abelmoschus esculentus) is also known as lady’s finger, Bhindi, Bhendi, Bamia and Gumbo. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world. Okra can be grown in your home garden.  It is from the same family as hollyhock, rose of Sharon and hibiscus. Please read the Disclaimer. Okra has been called “a perfect villager’s vegetable”. Okra is a good source of  mucilage fiber, gums and pectins. Okra or Bhindi pods are full of nutrients like minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes and large amount of mucilage which contains soluble dietary fibers like pectin, guar gum, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). Okra has become increasingly popular in the cosmetics industry.  Source NCBI: See link. Okra or Bhindi has a good amount of dietary fiber, and distinct seed protein balance of both lysine and tryptophan amino acids. 100 grams of okra has about 1.9g of good protein. According to one study The essential and nonessential amino acids in okra are comparable to those in soybeans. Source NCBI: See link
There are many health benefits of Okra or Bhindi and slowly it is gaining popularity as a super food.
See also
NCBI research on Okra
Okra, lady's finger, Bhindi, Bhendi,
Per 100gm of Okra or Bhindi
Proteins: 19.g (Proteins- Essential Amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, lysine, valine, Conditionally Non-Essential arginine, serine, glycine, Non-Essential alanine, cysteine, tyrosine, glutamic acid
Crude Fiber:1.2g
Calcium: 66mg
Phosphorus:56mg
Iron: .35mg
Carotene: 52 micro grams
Folic Acid: Free 25.3
Total: 105.1 micro grams
Vitamin C: 13 mg
Magnesium: 53 mg
Manganese: .15 mg
Sodium: 6.9 mg
Potassium: 103 mg
Copper: .11 mg
Zinc: .42 mg
Chromium: .005 mg
Sulfur: 30 mg
Chlorine: 41 mg

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Butterflies of India and Pune Common Jezebel or Indian Jezebel

The Common Jezebel (Delias eucharis) is a butterfly and is found in South Asia, South east Asia,  India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. These butterflies are found all over India. It is also called as Indian Jezebel. Its a beautiful butterfly with bright yellow and bright orange color on the hind wings . The orange color is in the shape similar to a pentagon (5 corners) and is on the borders of the hind wings. These butterflies usually fly high and come down only to feed on the nectar. The bright color indicates that it is unpalatable. The larvae (caterpillars) accumulate toxins from the host plant, this protects the larvae (caterpillars) and the adult butterfly from potential predator. The bright colors of the butterflies sends a message to the birds (predators) that “Keep away we are toxic and distasteful”. The Jezebel breeds all year round. The eggs are in batches of 10 or 20 (sometimes more) and on the underside of the leaf. The host plants are usually Bridelia retusa ( Spinous Kino Tree) in Hindi kaji, Khaja, kassi, Dendrophthoe falcate (Suckle Mistletoe) In Hindi Banda, Scurrula parasitica.
The Common Jezebel,  Indian Jezebel

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a plant native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Most of the types are perennial but some are annual. The generic name is derived from the Greek word  hibískos. Hibiscus is the state flower of Hawaii and the national flower of Malaysia. Common names of hibiscus are as follows China Rose, Chinese hibiscus. In Indian languages like Hindi it is called as Gurhal, in Manipuri it is called as Juba kusum athonba in Kannada it is called as Juba kusum athonba, in Malayalam it is called as Chemparati, in Marathi Jaswand in Konkani it is called as Dosni Phool. In many countries tea is made from hibiscus flowers.  Study Shows Consuming Hibiscus Tea Lowers Blood Pressure see also Link Read Disclaimer Hibiscus tea is called as roselle in Australia, Arhul ka phool in India and  karkadé in Levant, Egypt, Sudan, Italy and Russia, Chai Kujarat in Iraq, Chai Torsh in Iran. Hibiscus plants need a well drained soil and full Sun. Hibiscus plants need to be protected from pests such as aphids, white flies, and mealybugs. Red Hibiscus flowers attract Sun birds.
Hibiscus, China Rose

Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Max Height: 9 Feet
Drought-tolerant: No
Propagation Methods: Cuttings, Seeds
Bloom Color :  Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, White, Lavender and Brown, Shades of 2 colors
Characteristics: Attracts Sunbirds
Soil pH requirements:  Neutral to slightly acidic (pH 5.5 to 7.5)
Foliage: Green
Duration: Perennial
Flowering Season: All year round
Invasive potential: Not Invasive
Pests and Diseases: Aphids or plant lice, Whiteflies, Thrips, Stink bugs.
Plant Character: Evergreen
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 to 11
Uses: Used in making Tea
Maintenance: Low
National Flower of: Haiti, Hawaii (State Flower), Malaysia, South Korea (called mugunghwa)
Medicinal: Yes

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune Tulbaghia Violacea Society Garlic Pink Agapanthus

Tulbaghia violacea Family Amaryllidaceae is a Perennial (Life span more than 2 years) plant. The plant is native to south Africa. It is also called as society garlic or Pink Agapanthus. It has violet flowers. Society Garlic is bulbous plant about one foot tall.  The plant Tulbaghia has been named after Ryk Tulbagh. The botanist Carl Linnaeus named the plant Tulbaghia after Ryk Tulbagh. They both were contemporaries. The leaves of society garlic smell like garlic, but the flowers are sweet smelling at night. Since the flowers give out scent at night, they attract moths, most species of moths are nocturnal,  as a result they are pollinated by moths. Society Garlic needs full Sun to flower and a well drained soil. Tulbaghia violacea grows very easily in most soils and it is considered to be drought tolerant. Tulbaghia violacea is supposed to be medicinal in nature. (Read disclaimer). The leaves and flowers are used in salads.
This plant is available in  Plant nurseries of Pune
Tulbaghia violacea, Society Garlic, Pink Agapanthus
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Max Height: 1 foot
Drought-tolerant: Yes
Propagation Methods: Bulbs
Bloom Color : Violet
Characteristics: Fragrant Flowers (Sweet) , Fragrant Foliage (Garlic), Small Flowers
Soil pH requirements:  pH 6.5 to 7.5 (Neutral )
Foliage: Green
Duration: Perennial
Flowering Season: Summer
Invasive potential: Not Invasive
Pests and Diseases: Usually not affected by pests and diseases.
Plant Character: Evergreen
USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10
Uses: Beds and Borders
Maintenance: Low

See Also:
Medicinal use of Tulbaghia violacea or Society Garlic ((Read disclaimer).
Evidence for an in vitro anticoagulant and antithrombotic activity in Tulbaghia Violacea
Getting to Know the society of Garlic

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune Hollyhocks Alcea

Alcea (Hollyhock) grow easily from seeds and are either annual-(Life one Year), biennial (Life 2 Years) , or perennial (Life more than 2 years) plants. They are native to Asia and Europe.  They are commonly called as Hollyhock. William Turner, a herbalist of the time, gave it the name “holyoke”. These plants need moist well drained soil. Hollyhock flowers do reseed themselves. Since this plant is erect and the stems may grow up-to 9 feet they should be watered with a shower at the base to avoid damaging the stem.  Most of the Hollyhocks do not live for more than 3 years. These plants need full Sun at least 6 hours per day.  The colors range from white to almost black. The colors range from Lavender, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Salmon, White, Yellow and include shades of pink,  rose-pink, salmon-rose, golden yellow, canary-yellow, dark red, purple-crimson, dark maroon.  Planting of hollyhocks should not be too close because crowding causes high humidity. And air circulation gets affected. This helps fungus to infect the plant.
Alcea, Hollyhock
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Max Height: 9 feet
Drought-tolerant: No
Propagation Methods: Seeds
Bloom Color : Lavender, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Salmon, White, Yellow and include shades of pink,  rose-pink, salmon-rose, golden yellow, canary-yellow, dark red, purple-crimson, dark maroon.
Soil pH requirements:  pH 6 to 8.0 (Neutral to slightly alkaline)
Foliage: Green
Duration: annual, biennial, perennial
Flowering Season: Summer
Invasive potential: Not Invasive
Pests and Diseases: Rust caused by fungus – Puccinia malvacearum, Weevils, Cut Worms
Plant Character: Evergreen
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 to 9
Larval Host:  Painted Lady and Tropical Checkered Skipper
Days to Germinate: 3 Weeks
Days to Bloom: 2 Months

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune Fuchsia or Dancing Doll

Fuchsias are herbaceous perennials. Fuchsia are native to South America. They are also found in Central America and Mexico, The Dominican Republic and Haiti. And in the southern hemisphere in New Zealand. The majority are tropical or subtropical. Fuchsia are named after the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs.  Fuchsia were discovered by French Minim monk and botanist, Charles Plumier. The photograph (below) of Fuchsia also called as Dancing Doll flower was taken in Mahabaleshwar near Pune in India. The flowers drop downwards and are very decorative. In tropical species the flowers bloom all through the year specially in Summer (April to October).  The colors can vary from dark red, purple-blue, orange and white. Plant Fuchsia in semi shade. They need well drained soil, watering should be regular but do not over water. Protect from extreme cold and heat.
Fuchsias
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade / Colder Climates Full Sun
Max Height: 4 Meters
Drought-tolerant: No
Propagation Methods: Seeds (Do not sow the seeds just press in soil) , Cuttings
Bloom Color : dark red, purple-blue, orange and white.
Plant Habit or Use: Shrub
Soil pH requirements:  Acidic (5.0 to 6.0)
Foliage: Green
Duration: perennial
Flowering Season: Summer to Fall
Invasive potential: Not Invasive
Pests and Diseases: Rust, Pythium root rot, Black root rot
Plant Character: Evergreen
USDA Hardiness Zone:  6 to 12

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Plants and Flowers of India and Pune Leucophyllum Frutescens Texas Sage Barometer Bush

Leucophyllum frutescens is a shrub native to Texas in southwestern united states. It is also called as Texas Sage. Other names of the plant are as follows Texas Ranger, Texas rain sage, cenizo, Texas silverleaf, Texas barometerbush, ash-bush, wild lilac, purple sage, senisa, cenicilla, palo cenizo, or hierba del cenizo. The plant does not require much watering and prefers warmer and drier areas. It is drought tolerant. Also it does not require much maintenance.  It has silvery to gray green leaves. Usually the flowering happens after rains due to humidity and high soil moisture. Hence it is sometimes called barometer bush. Domestic limestone should be added to keep the soil alkaline (pH=7.5 and above, pH of 7 is neutral).
Leucophyllum frutescens, purple sage
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Max Height: 8 feet
Drought-tolerant: Yes
Propagation Methods: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
Bloom Color : Purple
Plant Habit or Use: Medium Shrub
Soil pH requirements:  Alkaline pH 7.5 to 8.0
Foliage: Siverish grey Green
Duration: perennial
Flowering Season: Summer to Fall
Invasive potential: Not Invasive
Pests and Diseases: Cotton Root Rot
Other Variety: Pink or White Flowers
Plant Character: Semievergreen
USDA Hardiness Zone:  8
Larval Host: Theona Checkerspot, Calleta silkmoth
Deer Resistant: Yes
Leucophyllum frutescens,  barometer bush

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