Tropical Flora Of Kerala Museum Complex

Tropical Flora Of Kerala Museum Complex
Tropical Flora Of Kerala Museum Complex
Video: Tropical Flora Of Kerala Museum Complex
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In the capital of the Indian state of Kerala called Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum), tourists usually visit the Museum of Art and Natural History (Napier Museum).

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Founded in 1855, it was rebuilt by 1880 and named after Lord Napier, who was the governor of Madras from 1866 to 1872. Designed by Robert Chisholme, Consulting Architect for the Madras government, it has a Gothic architecture, but is also decorated with minarets and unique Arabic ornaments.

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The architecture is fully consistent with the inner content of the gallery. The museum houses a rare collection of archaeological and historical artifacts, bronze idols, ancient jewelry, temple chariots and ivory sculptures. The exhibition also includes the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, which displays works by Raja Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich, as well as examples of Mughal art. A small part of the exhibition presents works from different countries of the world, for example, ritual masks. Photography in the museum is not permitted.

For plant lovers, the park area around the museum is also of great interest. There are many tourists from all over the world walking along the paths and enjoying the rest on the benches. And in an open gazebo there is a lecture hall.

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Bright colors of tropical vegetation only emphasize the beauty of the architecture.

Here is the ornate Cyrtostachys renda palm called Red Wax Palm, Fondant Palm, or Raja Palm. Its trunk and leaf rachis are brightly colored in the color of sealing wax, with which letters have been sealed since the 16th century.

Cyrtostachys renda palm
Cyrtostachys renda palm

Cyrtostachys renda palm

Ravenala madagascar (Ravenala madagascariensis)
Ravenala madagascar (Ravenala madagascariensis)

Ravenala madagascar (Ravenala madagascariensis)

Ravenala Madagascar(Ravenala madagascariensis) is found only in this part of India and in Southeast Africa. It is also called the Tree of Travelers, because after rain, water accumulates on large foliage, which can quench your thirst. The plant resembles strelitzia in appearance, and belongs to the same strelitzia family. It is not a woody plant, its trunk is a fibrous structure without cambium. The leaves are arranged in one plane, fan-shaped. This palm has another interesting feature - the seeds have a fluorescent blue color - this is how their aryllus (appendages) are painted to attract birds. In Madagascar, where this plant is widely used for the construction of huts, and seeds for food, it is believed that if you make a wish with pure thoughts in front of the traveler's tree, then this wish will certainly come true.

Red Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)
Red Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)

Red Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)

Red Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)
Red Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)

Red Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)

Red Plumeria (Plum e ria ru bra), or Pagoda Tree, is a wide tree with beautiful gray branches, covered with shields of white, pinkish, fragrant flowers outside. In India, various musical instruments are made from plumeria wood.

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea) is not only a bright, beautiful shrub, but also a useful plant that has a wide range of medicinal properties. Its inflorescences are not only red, as the name says, but also white, yellow-orange. In India, it is often used to decorate parks.

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)
Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)
Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)
Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)

Ixora bright red (Ixora coccinea)

Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla) is a shrub from West Africa up to 2 m tall. It has small yellow flowers surrounded by pink, purple or white expanded sepals that turn green over time. We managed to see two color options.

Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla)
Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla)

Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla)

Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla)
Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla)

Reddish mussenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla)

Annatto, or bixa annata (Bixa orellana) - a tree with small pink five-petalled flowers with a bunch of stamens in the center, which live only one day. This plant was introduced by the Spaniards from the tropics of America and has become a popular ornamental plant here. Fruits are remarkable - bright red thorny bolls resembling castor oil plants, with red seeds inside. The seeds are used to make bixin food coloring paste, which is used to color food products, lipstick, nail polish, etc.

Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)
Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)
Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)
Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

The museum complex also includes a zoo (Thiruvananthapuram Zoo). This zoo is one of the largest and oldest zoos in the country, occupying 22 hectares. Its territory is shady and cozy to visit on a hot day.

At the entrance to the zoo
At the entrance to the zoo

At the entrance to the zoo

The history of the zoo dates back to the time of Maharaja Tirunal Rama Varma, who ruled in this area from 1830 to 1847. He had a private menagerie, in which there were many representatives of felines, deer, wild boars and other wild animals. The zoo officially opened in 1857 thanks to his brother Utram Tirunal, as well as the Englishman William Cullen.

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Now the zoo contains more than 80 species of animals from all over the world. Among them there are those that can only be seen in India, these are rare species of primates and the Indian rhinoceros, which is very different from the African one. Unfortunately, now there are no Indian elephants in the zoo, although until recently there were 9 individuals.

Lion-tailed macaque
Lion-tailed macaque

Lion-tailed macaque

Hippos
Hippos

Hippos

Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros

A small terrarium called "House of Reptiles" is all surrounded by green climbing plants. It contains not only snakes - both venomous and not, but also turtles, lizards and other reptiles.

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There is a great collection of birds - cassowaries, emus, parrots, storks, pheasants, spoonbills, pelicans and, of course, Indian peacocks.

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Since 1995, a gradual reconstruction of the zoo has been underway; traditional animal cages are replaced by spacious enclosures, separated from visitors by moats with water. The objectives of the zoo have also changed - abandoning a simple demonstration of animals, here they thought about the reproduction of animals and the preservation of biodiversity.

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This is not only a zoo, but also a botanical garden at the same time. On its territory, you can admire many interesting plants and get an idea of ​​the tropical flora.

Couroupita guianensis (Couroupita guianensis), or "tree of cannonballs," remarkable for its large waxy flowers of pink and orange tones and round fruit the size of a cannon ball, hanging along the stem. These fruits are formed for 8-9 months, when ripe they fall, exposing a yellowish jelly-like pulp, which, oxidizing in air, acquires an unpleasant odor. Despite this, monkeys eat them. But the flowers of the plant have a sweet aroma. During the period of mass flowering, there are hundreds of them, but only a small part of the fruit sets.

Couroupita guianensis
Couroupita guianensis

Couroupita guianensis

Couroupita guianensis
Couroupita guianensis

Couroupita guianensis

Couroupita guianensis
Couroupita guianensis

Couroupita guianensis

Saman, or the rain tree (Samanea saman), is an ancient long-lived bean plant, so named in India for folding its leaves in rainy weather, like its relative, mimosa. The plant is squeezed here by other trees, therefore it does not have that grandiose crown shape that it can form.

Samanea saman
Samanea saman

Samanea saman

Peltophorum pterocarpum (Peltophorum pterocarpum)
Peltophorum pterocarpum (Peltophorum pterocarpum)

Peltophorum pterocarpum (Peltophorum pterocarpum)

Another legume - winged peltophorum (Peltophorum pterocarpum) - is called Yellow Flame for its lush flowering, during which many complex hanging inflorescences with yellow, rather large flowers bloom. In India, they love to use it for landscaping.

Muntingia kalabura (Muntingia calabura), or Chinese cherry, cherry Jamaican, standing with an immature fruit. In appearance, it really looks like a cherry, but the fruits do not have a seed, but contain small, invisible when eating, seeds. It is grown in India as a fruit crop.

Muntingia calabura
Muntingia calabura

Muntingia calabura

Banyan tree, or ficus Bengal (Ficus benghalensis) grows throughout India. Thanks to the long aerial roots rooting around the trunk, it forms the largest crown among trees in the world, sometimes growing over several hectares! Here is a small copy.

Guazuma ulmifolia is interesting for its soft, easy-to-handle, pink or brown wood. It is no coincidence that it is called the Musket Tree. The crushed seed drink has medicinal uses for coughs, diarrhea, as a diuretic and astringent.

Cassia tubular (Cassia fistula) blooms beautifully with long, hanging clusters of yellow flowers, for which it is called the Indian golden shower. Beans contain, in addition to seeds, a sour-sweet pulp, and are considered a good laxative for children.

Bengal ficus (Ficus benghalensis)
Bengal ficus (Ficus benghalensis)

Bengal ficus (Ficus benghalensis)

Guazuma ulmifolia
Guazuma ulmifolia

Guazuma ulmifolia

Cassia tubular (Cassia fistula)
Cassia tubular (Cassia fistula)

Cassia tubular (Cassia fistula)

Here are some more amazing plants of the Kerala museum complex.

Indian Heliconia (Heliconia indica)
Indian Heliconia (Heliconia indica)

Indian Heliconia (Heliconia indica)

Photo: Rita Brilliantova, Nina Starostenko, Lyudmila Roshchina

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