BLACK EYED SUSAN

This single extraordinary flower stands out from a sea of green at the amazing HOTEL FATEGARH in Udaipur.( Rajasthan, India).
At first glance it is difficult to identify what belongs to which plant. It is a maze of leaves, branches, buds and flowers.

eye catcher
                                                                      Eye Catcher

It is indeed a lot of fun ( and sometimes frustrating ) to identify a flower or a plant. Try it.

My recent education makes me hone it down to the Malvaceae family ( A  diverse family including the flower Hibiscus,  the cash crop Cotton,  vegetable Okra  and the fruit Durian) .

Recent education was in a vegetable market in New Delhi, where I saw the  conical tell tale buds of Roselle ( Hibiscus Sabdariffa )  for the first time. ( a rushed picture from my mobile)

Thus the Genus Hibiscus  is clearly  established from the buds , now onto the tougher part of identifying the species.

Roselle
                                                           Roselle bunched with Raw Mangoes

I have a recent picture of  the Lady Finger ( Okra) plant which shows the similarity of the two family members in the typical cone-shaped buds, the whorl below the buds and the leaves.

This picture was taken at THE CORN VILLAGE near Mussoorie in the Himalayas.

( please check out the blog http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com)

Can you imagine the vegetable Okra ( Abelmoschus esculentus and the flower above belong to the same family?

Okra
                                                            Okra or Lady Finger

When I checked out from the  initial look and colour of  the flower ( yellow with black centre)  I came up with no less than seven options from the Genus Hibiscus.

Hibiscus calyphyllus, Hibiscus caesius ( five-fingered mallow) ,Hibiscus hispidissimus,

Hibiscus lampas ( Jangli Bhindi) ,Hibiscus manihot ( Jangli Bhindi).Hibiscus vitifolius, Hibiscus abelmoschu.

Do remember all I have are photographs taken from a digital camera close to two decades ago.

malvacae family
                                                        Malvacae or Hibiscus  family

The habitat where one locates flora ( or fauna)  is an extremely useful tool in identifying the species.

After a pain staking comparison of the buds ( they have no hair in the picture), the typical whorl below the buds and the leaves resembling the head of a coconut tree ,I think the flower is christened Hibiscus Caesius Garcke.

( Please  verify at  http://efloraindia.nic.in ) 

As i leave you to ponder and decipher the correct identify of Susan, I move onto identify the white flowers seen along with these eye catchers.

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

9 thoughts on “BLACK EYED SUSAN”

  1. In Central Florida we have many hibiscus. Last year I bought ONE cranberry hibiscus (Roselle) plant. Now I have them all over my little yard. When I trim them, I pull off the lower leaves and plunge the branch into the ground. It grows into a bush in only months. This plant and it’s red leaves make welcome gifts. Last year I gave one,which I had put in a small flower pot, to a lady who lives in Toronto Canada. She told me the plant has tripled in size. She brings it in during the winter, of course. I am working on a slide show about my cranberry hibiscus and will probably put it on YouTube after my plants stop flowering.

    Liked by 1 person

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