24 June 2022

Cousins (ThursdayTreeLove)

I had a different tree in mind for todays post but I just read Parul's TTL 132 post and decided to share some plants from my home balcony garden. 

To be more specific, three plants that are so called 'cousins'. 

They belong to the same Genus of Malpighia but the specific epithet is different. Hence they are different species. I am growing them to be Bonsai and they do grow as trees in Nature. 

They all belong to the family Malpighiaceae and you can see the distinct flower similarity. The frilly flowers are very pretty but not fragrant. The three plants I am sharing all have simple opposite leaves. 

Here is my Cherry or Malpighia emarginata. The leaf stalks are short, margin are entire and the leaf tip maybe rounded or notched. This is an exotic species but seems to like the environment in my house. It is in fruit right now. 

Cherry flower

In fruit. This is an old image. I have repotted the tree to a different angle now.

Here is the Hawthorn or Mapighia coccigera. It has spiny leaves which makes it difficult to handle or hold the branches or trunks. My plant is very young and will take a while to become a proper bonsai. Come November, it flowers in my home but has not yet borne fruits.

Spiny Leaves

Here is what we call Frooti. There is a lot of debate about its correct botanical name and it is definitely from Malpighia genus. Most likely Malpighia glabra. Its branches tend to droop unlike the other two above. Leaves have a wavy margin and pointy tip. This plant flowers profusely once it rains and also bears fruit in August/September. This fruit is much smaller than the Cherries on my tree. 

Frooti flowers and buds

Fruits of the Frooti

I hope you enjoyed meeting these 'Cousins' in my balcony garden ---- with a teeny bit of botany thrown in!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

10 June 2022

Live And Let Live ( ThursdayTreeLove)

Trees are eyecatchers wherever they grow. This one was growing by the footpath and caught my attention as I was guiding my husband to reverse the car on to the road. It looked like a twin trunk but one of those had some interesting roots growing on it. 

You can see them here.

Closer inspection showed there was a Peepal (Ficus religiosa ) that was growing on the original tree an its roots had grown to 'embrace' the 'parent' trunk - if that is a word I can use.

The parent tree was a Neem (Azadirachta indica) and both species were happily flourishing. 



Usually, a Ficus can completely take over the parent tree and even cause it to die. As of now, both are doing well. I hope it continues. 

A wonderful example of Live and Let Live . Do you agree?


 In case you are wondering, the parking attendant marshalled our vehicle outside as I was busy photographing the tree. 🤦🏼

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

26 May 2022

Monsoon Fruit (ThursdayTreeLove)

As the rains begin, and mangoes go off the shelves, its time to enjoy other fruits. Jamun or Jambhul is one that immediately comes to mind. Its a common tree in Pune and it flowers and fruits profusely here. In the monsoon, the raindrops carry the fruit down to the ground with them. The streets are lined purple as the fruit is squashed underfoot or beneath vehicle tyres. 

Jambhul or Jamun goes by the botanical name Syzyium cumini and belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It finds a place on my TTL post, simply because the tree has just finished flowering and I wanted to share these unique flowers with everyone.  

Jamun is an evergreen tree and its flowers are hidden in the shiny smooth leaves. The leaves are aromatic when crushed which is typical of the Myrtaceae family.

 The tree blooms in April-May and the green fruit ripens to a deep purple by June-July. It is common in public gardens, home gardens and even by the roadside in my city. 

The fruits are delicate, crush easily and expert tree climbers come around to harvest them from the trees. The fruit has a typical sharp taste and stains the mouth once eaten. The pulp can also stain clothes if one is clumsy when eating! 

Jamun also called Indian Blackberry or Black Plum

Jamuns are typically sold on hand carts in Pune, the sellers walk around the city calling out to folks to come out and buy these juicy delights. 

I must add, that personally I don't like the Jamun but those who do enjoy it are its dedicated fans!! 

Have you seen the Jamun tree? Do you enjoy its fruit?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world. Better still, join in!



13 May 2022

Mayflower (ThursdayTreeLove)

 May has been unusually hot this year in Pune with no signs of summer showers. Yet the trees seem to be loving the heat. 

Especially the Delonix regia of the Caesalpiniaceae family. Better known as the Gulmohor or the Mayflower. 

Presently the tree is in an leafless stage and it is fully covered with flowers. The tree blazes red or orange-red and surprisingly this colour is actually soothing even in the brilliant daylight. 

The tree beckons from a distance. The full post is here

02 May 2022

Reflections

Hello everyone! 

My theme for my eighth AtoZ challenge was inspired by an online talk by Daniel L Nikrent of Cornell University, USA held by Maharashtra Vriksha Samvardhini about Parasitic Flowering Plants featured on Stamps

I am not a stamp collector nor a fan of stamps. But I do love plants and feel sad about the 'plant blindness' that is so common. I hoped that my posts will encourage readers to look around them as they move around in their cities. Notice the trees/herbs/climbers their leaves, flowers and how the plants change with seasons. 


In this process, I was introduced to the world of stamps and found it is extremely fascinating. Even though I kept myself restricted to India Post stamps, during my research, I saw many lovely stamps from around the world. I learnt that there are stamps on gold/silver foil, 3D stamps, scented stamps, stamps on wood, fabric... Wow!  

Philately is indeed a wonderful hobby. It can also be a tool to introduce children to various topics. 

Several scholarly articles have been published that use stamps (from all over the world) to study other subjects like Palentology, Fossils and Minerals. I am sure this can be extended to Animals, Architecture, History etc. Just needs some creativity on part of the teachers.

I was a bit apprehensive if my readers would enjoy my posts and I tried to strike a balance between plant and stamp information. Idea was that all visitors would find the post interesting. 

Dear readers, a big Thank You for all your feedback! And encouragement! Most of you (and I) remember having collected stamps at some point as was evident in your shared thoughts. 😌

Some comments really stand out .. In my Q postTimothy S Brannan commented that stamps were 'like tiny history lessons'. So true!! 

Viyoma has creatively used info from my posts which she commented on in my V post. I am so happy she found the post useful. 

Arlee Bird who has been collecting stamps for 60 years had most encouraging comments. In my B post he said, "In my years of stamp collecting I never acquired many stamps from India. This is a beautiful example of stamp art. A nice addition to any collection." 

A big Thank You to Afshan Shaik who has commented on every post!  

There were a couple of queries which I shall try to answer. 

In the T post, Radhika and Pradip Nair had commented about denomination of stamps. I consulted Dr Ajit Vartak - a famous geologist and stamp expert and Secretary of Maharashtra Vruksha Samvardhini in Pune. According to him, the denomination is based on prevalent postage rates. 

Jayashree had asked if Ashwagandha is used in Tea. Yes indeed. Apparently Ashwangandha Tea has huge health benefits but should not be consumed in case of immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women. Here is an article on this topic. 

Some other info about my theme. A general search on the Colnect site showed over 100 stamps by India Posts featuring plants. Of these more than 40 had botanical names on them, 30 had local names of the plants. I found 7 stamps with Roses and 3 with Jasmine. Other stamps had plants or flowers or fruits as part of overall stamp design. 

This is not a complete count.. there will be stamps that I have overlooked. 

There are many stamps that I could not include in my posts. These include many Orchids, Roses and medicinal plants. Stamps featuring trees like Cochlospermum religiosum , Chinar, Parijat, Coconut, Cotton, Coffee, Wild Guava also could not be included. 

Maybe I should showcase them in another post. 

Denominations have varied over the years. In my selection, 25INR was the highest in the Z post. 

Here is a cover that I have and been saving for the last post. It features the 2013-issued Round Leaf Asia Bell flower and is 5INR denomination. Its the only plant stamp that I possess. The plant is a native climber that grows in the Himalayas at 188-3600m elevation.

Codonopsis rotundifolia of the Campanulaceae family

Special Cover ' Mission Devrai' 


So that's curtains on the 2022 April AtoZ. I reconnected with 'old' AtoZ blogger friends and made new ones too! This year saw some awesome blogs. You can catch up on all the 2022 AtoZ bloggers here

Stay Happy folks! Stay Healthy! 

A ready reckoner for my previous AtoZ journeys:

2020 Experiences Of A First Time Grandma

2019 Caring For The Care Giver

2018 Contemporary AtoZ

2016 Herbs

2015 Gardens in Pune

2014 Exercising for Fitness

2013 Mixed Bag

30 April 2022

Zoological Survey of India

   I am participating in the April AtoZ Blogging challenge and my theme is Plants featured on Indian Stamps. This is my eight attempt at the AtoZ and the focus is on plants. 

My theme is inspired by an online talk by Daniel L Nikrent of Cornell University, USA held by Maharashtra Vriksha Samvardhini about Parasitic Flowering Plants featured on Stamps

I am not a stamp collector nor a fan of stamps. Hence almost all my posts are purely based on research on the internet. I have tried to cross check the info before posting here. Please do share correct info and links to the same in case of discrepancy. 

India Post has a very strong network reaching deep deep into the interiors of the country and I depended on it for news from home when we were posted in far away places.  In this age of smartphones, Internet, how many of us really write letters - snail mail as they are now called? Despite this , I find that new stamps are being issued and we have stamps on diverse topics including Armed Forces, Films, Personalities, Wildlife, Handlooms, Handicrafts and so on.. It is amazing!

Today's selection may not strictly match my theme, but then, it is the last post, and Z is a difficult alphabet ... 

I am sure you will love this stamp and enjoy my choice! :-)

The Zoological Survey of India was set up in 1916 and India Post issued a commemorative stamp to celebrate its centenary year. With a denomination of 25 INR, it depicts a dense forest and wildlife therein. 

Post of India, GODL-India <https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gazette_Notification_OGDL.pdf>, via Wikimedia Commons

In the same vein (stamps about Organisations/Institutes), here is a 1990- issued stamp of denomination 2 INR about the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. It shows blades of Wheat. Wheat is an important crop in the country and our diet. Wheat is Triticum aestivum of the Poaceae family.

Post of India, GODL-India <https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gazette_Notification_OGDL.pdf>, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2002, on the occasion of the "8th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, New Delhi: Mangroves" four stamps with images of four different Magrove species were issued. 

And I do find a couple of Z there!

;-)

Jokes apart, I thought it is important to include Mangroves considering the threats they currently face. The four species are Brugeria gymnorrhiza, Sonneratia alba, Nypa fruiticans and Rhizophora mucronata.  

The India Postage Stamps website  has a complete catalogue of stamps. Please click the link to see many many wonderful stamps.

Colnect is a comprehensive portal for Stamp collectors. It gives detailed information about every listed stamp.  Click here for detailed info about Stamps - what is a stamp, types, formats, water marks, perforations and much more.  

This is the last post of the 2022 April AtoZ. 
Its been great having you here. 
Thank you one and all for your support and encouragement!

My Reflections post will be up on 2 May 2022. See you there!

Do keep visiting this space. It will be wonderful to hear your thoughts.

Stay Happy! Stay Healthy! 





29 April 2022

Yellow?

   I am participating in the April AtoZ Blogging challenge and my theme is Plants featured on Indian Stamps. This is my eight attempt at the AtoZ and the focus is on plants. 

My theme is inspired by an online talk by Daniel L Nikrent of Cornell University, USA held by Maharashtra Vriksha Samvardhini about Parasitic Flowering Plants featured on Stamps

I am not a stamp collector nor a fan of stamps. Hence almost all my posts are purely based on research on the internet. I have tried to cross check the info before posting here. Please do share correct info and links to the same in case of discrepancy. 

India Post has a very strong network reaching deep deep into the interiors of the country and I depended on it for news from home when we were posted in far away places.  In this age of smartphones, Internet, how many of us really write letters - snail mail as they are now called? Despite this , I find that new stamps are being issued and we have stamps on diverse topics including Armed Forces, Films, Personalities, Wildlife, Handlooms, Handicrafts and so on.. It is amazing!

Y has proved to be the most difficult and I am taking the libertY of diverging awaY from plants with names starting with Y. whY? you maY well ask?

Obvious reason is that I was unable to find a stamp with a Y name plant. 

Another is that, I am using the above to showcase one of 11 commemorative 2017-issued stamps by India Post on RamayanOne of the stamps shows Hanuman talking to Sita under a tree.

According to mythology stories, Sita was kept in a grove of Saraca asoca trees in Ravana's garden. This handsome native evergreen tree has flowers that are Yellow-orange and are extremely beautiful. The dark green leaves contrast beautifully with the blooms. Here is a flower image from mY collection. 

Saraca asoca is seen at many places in Pune, by roadsides and gardens. 


Its cousin Saraca thaipingensis has yellow blossoms. But I have not seen this tree. It is an introduced species in India but I have read that there is one in Bangalore's Lal Baug Botanical garden.

Here is the stamp of denomination 5 INR.

Post of India, GODL-India <https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gazette_Notification_OGDL.pdf>, via Wikimedia Commons

Here is another stamp that shows a beautiful tree on Roadside. It could be a tree with  Yellow flowers or Yellow foliage. The stamp is part of Beautiful India series of denomination 15 INR and issued in 2017. 

https://postagestamps.gov.in/Stampsofyear.aspx?uid=2017

What could this Yellow tree be? The stamp doesn't offer many clues as to the location or season. Or maybe it is the artist's imagination! 

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it!

The India Postage Stamps website  has a complete catalogue of stamps. Please click the link to see many many wonderful stamps.

Colnect is a comprehensive portal for Stamp collectors. It gives detailed information about every listed stamp.  Click here for detailed info about Stamps - what is a stamp, types, formats, water marks, perforations and much more.  

We meet tomorrow for the last Z post of the challenge and some lovely stamps. 
You can catch up with my previous posts here

Till then, Take Care and Stay Happy!