WILD FLOWERS FROM HILLS OF POUNI BHARAKH,REASI, J&K INDIA
Rajni Devi (M.phil)
Lecturer in Environmental sciences at GHSS Bharakh, REASI
Nature have vested humans with many gifts and flowers are among his most beautiful creations. Having a look of flowers can make anyone’s day. Wild flowers are the reason why most people visit hills during spring. They are of different colour and size many of them are tiny and not visible unless keen and closer look. Wild flowers grow on all kind of unexpected places. In this article an attempt is made to enlist some of the wild flowers observed hills of Pouni Bharakh in district Reasi of Jammu (J&K).
Reinwardtia indica- Reinwardtia Indica is a small herbaceous plant from Pakistan, India and parts of China locally called as basant or Piyuli. Known for its rich yellow flowers, this beautiful flowering shrub is an excellent winter bloomer. The plant grows up to 1 meter and bears sprays of bright and lovely yellow flowers from autumn to spring. Though the life of flower is not more than a day, but it continues to bloom quite frequently. This plant has a story of its name piyuli. Pyoli was a young maiden living in the forest. She was raised by animals and her first human contact was in the form of a prince who had lost his way during a hunting expedition. She tended after him and of course he fell in love with her. He persuaded her to marry him and accompany him to his palace. Although she loved the prince she started wilting away in the absence of a natural environment. No one could cure her and finally she died pining for her flora and fauna friends. Her last wish was that she should be buried among her friends. The prince took her to be buried at the place he had first met her. Some time later a pretty, yellow flower came out at the spot. This flower was named after the pretty nature-loving belle.
Jasminum multiflorum is an evergreen shrub with scrambling stems up to 5 metres long that can twine into the surrounding vegetation for support. It bears beautiful snow white flowers with pleasant fragrance. Flowers bloom during winters in bunches and fragrance can be smell from distance. This plant is widely used as traditional medicine in India for skin disorders. Different parts of the plant such as the leaf, stem, bark, and roots are very useful and important in pharmaceutical industries .All contain manitol. Jasminum grandiflorum has diuretic properties. The fresh juice of leaves are applied to corns, and the leaves are chewed and used in the treatment of ulcerations of the mouth .The leaves contain resin, salicylic acid, and an alkaloid named jasmine(Joy and Raja 2008). Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 481-483. 2008.(Anti-Bacterial Activity Studies of Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum sambacPriya Joy1 and Dr. D. Patric Raja 2)
Eranthemum pulchellum locally known is as Neeli brankad is a strongly branched shrub which bear beautiful dark blue colour flowers. The flowers appear from green-and-white veined bracts that remain after the blooms fall, forming a column several inches long. The hairy leaves are large and dark green. A sprawling shrub which may reach a metre or more in height. Flowers are without any fragrance.
Woodfordia fruticosa is also known as fire flame bush is a deciduous shrub of small size which grows in dry and rocky area. Flower peckers drink nectar from its flowers A wide range of chemical compounds including tannins (especially those of macrocyclic hydrolysable class), flavonoids, anthraquinone glycosides, and polyphenols have been isolated from this species in recent times. Extracts and metabolites of this plant, particularly those from flowers and leaves, possess useful pharmacological activities. Woodfordia fruticosa(Linn.) Kurz is exploited particularly, in perfume, leather and textile industry and believed to be superior for woolen and silk fabrics. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/13338.
This is a small deciduous tree about 10-30′ tall. Nearly sessile flowers are produced along young branches before the vernal leaves develop; they usually occur individually or less often in pairs. Each flower is 1-1½” across, consisting of 5 spreading pink petals. The blooming period occurs during mid-spring for about 2 weeks before the vernal leaves develop. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance. Afterwards, fertile flowers are replaced by fruits that become mature during the summer or fall.
Rosa moschata, the musk rose, is a species of rose which has been long in cultivation. Its wild origins are uncertain but are suspected to lie in the western Himalayas. Rosa moschata is a shrub (to 3m) with single white 5 cm flowers in blooming on new growth from late spring until late autumn in warm climates, or from late summer onwards in cool-summer climates. The prickles on the stems are straight or slightly curved and have a broad base.
Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae. It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind.
Lady tulip is a tulip which is found growing wild in Jammu and Kashmir. Flowers are solitary white with broad pink band on the outer side of the petals. Flowers have petals erect in the beginning, but spread outwards as the flower matures. The plant grows to a height of 6 to 12 in (15 to 30 cm). It flowers during the spring season.
Bombax ceiba commonly known as Simbul or cotton tree.This tree has a straight tall trunk and its leaves are deciduous in winter. Red flowers with 5 petals appear in the spring before the new foliage. It is a deciduous tree with a spreading crown; it can grow up to a height of 25 metres or more. It is a multi-purpose tree mainly gathered from the wild for its useful fibres, edible flowers, medicinal and many other uses. Red coloured Cup-shaped flowers solitary or clustered, axillary or sub-terminal, fascicles at or near the ends of the branches, when the tree is bare of leaves.
Butea monosperma or flame of forest commonly known as Palash is a medium-sized dry season–deciduous tree, growing to 15 m (49 ft) tall. The flowers are long, bright orange-red in colour. The plant has lent its name to the town of Palashi, famous for the historic Battle of Plassey fought there. Palash is also the State Flower of Jharkhand It is used for timber, resin, fodder, medicine, and dye. The leaves are usually very leathery and not eaten by cattle. The leaves were used by previous generations of people to serve food instead of plastics of today.
Bauhinia variegate (kachnar or kartad in dogri) is a small to medium-sized tree growing tall, deciduous in the dry season. The leaves are obcordate shaped, long and broad, rounded, and bilobed at the base and apex. The flowers are conspicuous, bright pink or white, with five petals. Kachnar is widely used as an ingredient in many Indian recipes. Traditional kachnar curry is prepared using kachnar buds, yogurt, onions and native Indian spices. Kachnar buds are also eaten as a stir fried vegetable and used to make achaar, a pickle in many parts of the Indian sub-continent.
Cassia fistula is a medium size tree commonly known as Amaltas. It is also known as yellow shower tree because of its profuse flowers. It blooms in late spring. It grows well in dry climates. It is state flower of Kerala.
Gloriosa superba is a species of flowering plant in the family Colchicaceae commonly known as flame lily. The showy flower has six sepals. They are generally bright red to orange at maturity, sometimes with yellowish bases. The margins may be quite wavy. This plant is poisonous, toxic enough to cause human and animal fatalities if ingested. It has been used to commit murder, to achieve suicide and to kill animals. Every part of the plant is poisonous,especiallythe tuberous rhiozmes. The alkaloid-rich plant has long been used as a traditional medicine in many cultures. It has been used in the treatment of snakebite and arthritis. Other uses for this plant include arrow poison in Nigeria and snake repellent in India.
Rajni Devi (M.phil)
Lecturer in Environmental sciences at GHSS Bharakh, REASI