Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Devil's Claw

The Devil’s Claw
A new addition to Bhutan’s floral family 

A National Biodiversity Centre team spotted the plant that is not endemic but invasive 
In Sonagasa, Punakha, locals hang the fruit from the door, in the form of beads, to ward off bad omens and evil spirits.

The plant that bares this hooked fruit, commonly referred to as the Devil’s Claw or Cat’s Claw, is to be documented as another addition to the country’s flora diversity. 

Scientifically the plant known as Martynia annua (Syn. M. diandra), belongs to the family Martyniaceae, and blooms a white creamy flower. 

A team from National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) at Gewachu, Wangduephodrang, spotted the plant on September 15 at an altitude of 761m above sea level, at latitude N27º12’31” and longitude E90º03’50’’. It was growing below the road near the national work force area, which is used as a dumping site. 

Martynia annua (Devil's Claw)
The fruits, measuring 3cm to 3.5cm, were collected on November 13 last year from Sonagasa in Punakha from a dead and dried plant at an altitude of 1,272m at latitude N27º29’14.6” and longitude E89º54’58.4”.

The plant and the family it comes from is a new record for Bhutan. It is not recorded in The Flora of Bhutan, a project started in 1975, which has so far recorded, in nine volumes, more than 5,600 plant species found in Bhutan. The Orchids of Bhutan was its latest publication that came out in 2003. 

The plant might have been introduced in the country from neighbouring India, when transporting machinery, or through vehicles travelling from India, as the plant was introduced and naturalised in India, according to National Herbarium, NBC. The plant might have also been introduced in the country from the grazing pattern of livestock in the border region in the south. 

The seeds are present inside the claw, and the claw hooks itself to the animals, vehicles and humans to disperse the seeds. 

The plant originated from Central America and was introduced and naturalised in many countries, such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Pacific region. The regeneration of native species in these areas is prevented by this plant (Smith, 2002).

Hence, the Claw is considered an invasive species in many countries, such as Australia and Indonesia. In the south Asian region, the species is found in India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar. 

There appears a high possibility of this plant invading the native species growing in Bhutan, as it did in some other countries, but no study has been carried out in Bhutan and only few such plants have been spotted. 

Internet sources describe the fruit as a medicine, which cures scorpion bites, and the leaves as treatment for epilepsy and indigestion. 

The plant specimens and fruits have been deposited at the National Herbarium, NBC.

 This article was contributed to Kuensel Newspaper in Bhutan. 

Edited and published by: Kuensel
25th December, 2012

For the original work, please click the link below:

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's All About the Plants

Cotoneaster sp. Location: Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve. Sep. 2011

Cotoneaster sherriffii. Location: Merak & Sakteng. May, 2011

Corydalis leptocarpa. Location: Merak & Sakteng. May, 2011

Didymocarpus albicalyx. Location: Merak & Sakteng. May, 2011

Impatience sp. Location: Merak & Sakteng. May, 2011

Osbeckia nepalensis. Location: Zhemgang. September, 2012

Rhododendron succothii. Location: Merak & Sakteng. May, 2011

Rhododendron keysii. Location: Merak & Sakteng. May, 2011

Selinum sp. Locaton: Toorsa Nature Strict Reserve. September, 2011


Geastrum sp. Toorsa. Sep. 2011
A unique and beautiful flower like mushroom spoted at Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve, Haa.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taebernaemontana & Piper

Taebernaemontana divericata Piping, Chhukha. Dec. 2012

Piper pediciliatum Chasilakha, Chhukha. Dec. 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where is Piping?

I wondered too! It is located at the southern Himalayan foothills of Bhutan. Well, Piping is connected with the road, electricity and mobile networks. All we need is to travel through rough road cuttings from Darla, Chhukha towards Piping with a well experienced and professional driver. No wonder, sooner or later we can travel through smooth road cuttings.
The cuttings of the road towards Piping

Colleague taking picture of Phoenix on the way to Piping after crossing the road widening processes.  I always loved to photograph Phoenix growing on the cliff.

This is the Piping town. It has around three shops and a restaurant. It is located at c.200 meters above sea level.  

Piping has different architects of building houses. It seems to be a very unique village.  The nearest neighboring human settlement is an Indian village.

Few trees of Chhukha (Bhutan)

Acer thomsonii  Location: Chasilakha, Chhukha. December, 2012

Leucosceptrum canum Location: Chasilakha, Chhukha. Dec, 2012

Pandanus farcatus Location: Darla (RDC), Chhukha. Dec, 2012

Phoenix rupicola (c.f) Location: On the way to Piping, Chhukha. Dec, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Where Everyone is the Victim of Time!

Photographed at: Punakha

We are born and our own time starts with us. But Time waits for none! We are therefore in a race with time, where humans are heading towards an end. We realize the value of time only when we know how fast we have grown old, second by second, day by day and year by year. 

Photographed at: Punakha

No one is so powerful to stop the march of the time. It's beyond the man's control. All we do is, we are waiting to be old. Oldies are usually ignored directly or indirectly by the majority of the population. They were the ones, who created the better world to live and who has worked hard for us to live in the blissful world.

Now, its the younger generation to make these world a better place to live for the future generations to come.

Photographed at: Sakteng, Tashigang
The time management  is crucial for all. Time is managed very effectively by every successful person. So, if we want to follow the footsteps of these people then we must know how to manage our time very well.There is time to everything we do so, we must act quickly and responsibly in order not to let us regret the things we weren't able to do. it is good to mange time because time and tide waits for no one.

Photographed at: Gasa

Time goes on passing without caring about anybody and they occur without any notice. It is the natural phenomena that they have no consideration for any individuals. The humans are helpless before time.

Photographed at: Sakteng, Tashigang

Photographed at: Punakha

Time is running out, yesterday will never come back again. Every moment you read this lines, the time spent will never ever come back again. Time is an opportunity, it definitely means the opportunity will never come back again. So, we should never miss an opportunity, one should grasp the opportunity as it comes on one's way. 

When we get old, we get to know that we are near to the death and we wait for it.

Whether, one do it right or wrong, the time passes forever!

PS: No Proof Read

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Blooms!

Went to Walathang, Punakha, Bhutan this autumn (14/10/12). When in autumn, leaves shed down but for some plants, the flowers bloom. It was an exciting expedition and experience into the wild, the nature is diversely beautiful in Walathang amid the pristine forest and fairy villages. Went to an unexplored forest, where we paved our own path. What is taking the toll in physical strength is compensated by the beauty of nature and floral rewards.




Cheirostylis griffithii (An Orchid)


Parona racemosa


Urena lobata

Melastoma normale

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When My Eyes see and Brain think

Zangthopelri (Guru Rinpochhe's Abot)
Went for the trip to monasteries and temple in Bumthang on 17th September, 2012. 
Visited many monasteries and temples in Bumthang, the most striking temple before my eyes was Zangthopelri. It has unique and attractive architect. I like the way it is built and the location is awesome, it is located on the top of the beautiful hill. 
Zangthopelri is a heaven, the journey is not near for the commoners. Everyone wants to pay a visit and never come back. What we got to do to go there, is what the religion preaches. Following is hard but the destination is always waiting for us, no matter how long we take to reach there.

It is not that there is no door to heaven, but what i think is that there is no stairway to heaven. we build stairways!
Door is always there, We build stairways!

It is always interesting for me to note that, everything is an open door to me but it is sometimes disheartening to know that some stairways are impossible to build. But once we try to build and build it, it is no more impossible (that's how I inspire myself), I say it's 'Possibled'.
Building the stairway

The process of finding the door and stairway to heaven is always difficult for me. I try and tried, still I find myself trying and i think i will be trying. It takes many lives of rebirth to actually build the way to heaven, I wonder will I be reborn? If then, will I remember my past life? Reincarnation is a vast subject and a tough subject to fully understand.
This a just an opinion of what I think.

Impermanence is what actually our life is all about, we are mortal. Life as some say, is like a dream, a long dream. Going by the way we live, we live as if we are immortal. We work, love, hate, cry, fight, laugh, read, etc., we do lot of things that actually is impermanent along with our life. The duration of impermanence of our life is longer than the duration of impermanence of what our life does. I think the only permanent life, we will poses is only when, we happened to reach heaven. So, I think it is really important for us to find the stairway to the heaven and climb it. 

Life is like a long dream
The way we live is something that must be challenged in order to build the stairway to heaven, but it is a really difficult task for me. 

The thoughts were produced by the brain upon seeing the photographs clicked during the Bumthang trip. This is just to test that somehow, when our eyes see things or photographs, our brain produce all sort of sensible and non-sensible thoughts showing how the eyes have control over brain. The thoughts written above needs further validation. 

PS: No Proof Read

I have uploaded some photographs below to see, how your thoughts are produced upon seeing the photographs.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Himalayan Monal Pheasant

Himalayan Monal Pheasant  (Lophophorus impejanus) spotted at Tharpaling Lhakhang, Bumthang, Bhutan on 17/09/12. This birds are so attached to humans that they never run away when humans are near to them. The monastery feeds them whenever they are around the monastery. Amazing!!!

Photos of the Male and Female Monal



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tropical Garden

Thai Flag

       Cacti in Nong Nooch Garden, July, 2012

    Cycas curranii, 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Vanda cristata - An Orchid

5/12 Sakteng

A beautiful and unique flower of Orchid. It blooms usually in the month of May.

This flower was spotted on the way to Sakteng from Mearak, Tashigang in the month of May, 2012 when a team of orchid enthusiasts were on orchid diversity expedition.
Vanda cristata


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