wild flowers of india - ArvindGuptaToys

flowers in the field and some from my own photographs when it was not possible to be on site. Lastly but not least, .... The tubers of the Indian lily-of-the-valley are used as a herbal treatment for dropsy. A very close ...... commercial use. The Dal ...
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Wild flowers are to be found in all kinds of unexpected places if you know how to look for them. While walking in the countryside or climbing a hill in the Himalayas you may come upon some wild flowers brightening a hollow in a rock, or half hidden amidst the ferns which will make the outdoor experience especially rich. Even crowded cities have wild flowers growing in neglected corners of parks, ditches, verges of roads, cracks in pathways and in the corners of your garden. Sometimes one or two pop up in carefully cultivated flowerpots. We tend to think of them as weeds if they come up unexpectedly in gardens and fields. Stop and look at the wild flowers carefully and you will discover that they have a disarming beauty of their own. Many of them are also ancestors of the familiar garden flowers that we tend so enthusiastically. With its varied climate, and wide range of physical features, India is the home of an amazing array of species. The Himalayas are a treasure trove of flowers many of which grow all over the northern temperate zone too. Some of them are unique to the Himalayas while others are very alpine in character. The lower hills have a mixture of temperate and subtropical flora. The plains and the scrub deserts have distinctly different flowers, while hot and humid areas have flora that is specific to their condition. The flower spectrum, if one can call it that, is as wide as it is wonderful. However, here are some flowers that are common to most parts of the country, and it is these familiar blossoms that I have covered in this book. The selection has not been easy because each flower has its own special beauty. I have chosen the flowers for their beauty, colour and for their wide distribution over most parts of the country. This selection should be a good first introduction to Indian wild-flowers and can lead from here to wider and wilder pastures! Those who have studied botany know that it is not easy to learn botanical names; therefore, I have used common names of wild flowers which are easier to remember than the botanical ones. Since there are variations sometimes 1 have given botanical names as well. Wherever possible 1 have given Hindi names too. In our wide range of dialects a single flower may have as many as two dozen names and sometimes the names overlap resulting in some confusion. The ability to identify wild flowers can transform a journey, walk or a drive into a voyage of discovery. Every shady nook, forest path or ditch becomes endowed with charm as you seek out its hidden cache of wild plants. Knowing the flowers in one’s surroundings furthers a desire to know more about flowers whether near or far, and the need to save all the wild things that we have inherited on the earth. The fact that a rapidly growing population is threatening wild habitats is also connected with an awareness of nature and the need to preserve it. There is a lack of awareness about conservation and the balance of nature. Natural plant life is not inexhaustible and we cannot be complacent about it, already many of our wildlife habitats are lost forever. Small things can help, for instance while walking we should walk along a trodden path, for stepping on a plant may mean wiping out a whole species forever. I hope that this book will help to heighten an interest in wild flowers and contribute in a small measure towards saving them. Photographing wild flowers is a good way of enjoying their beauty forever. Plucking them needlessly is as thoughtless as it is destructive. While describing the species selected for this work, the shapes of the leaves and other parts of the flower are described as far as possible in everyday language. There are line drawings which show the forms of leaves. Some botanical terms which are used are explained in a glossary at the back of the book. I have drawn most of the flowers in the field and some from my own photographs when it was not possible to be on site. Lastly but not least, I would like to thank Prof. Virendra K