Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Caryota urens - Wine palm - Toddy palm - Jaggery palm

Name  : Caryota Urens
Family : Arecaceae
Genus  : Caryota

 Caryota Urens or Solitary fishtail palm is a palm which grows very tall.It is common in India, Sri Lanka and some other Asian countries.
  An alcoholic drink  is produced from this palm by fermenting the sap tapped from the inflorescence.In Kerala (a state in South India) the drink is sold through shops called 'Toddy Shops'.

 Fibers can be produced from the leaves which can be used to make baskets, brushes etc. The big leaves are a major food given to elephants.
 It usually grows up to 15 to 20 meters.It is not preferred as an indoor plant as it grows very tall.

Other Names : Wine Palm, Toddy Palm, Jaggery Palm

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Clove Bean - Ipomoea Muricata

Name : Clove Bean
Scientific Name : Ipomoea Muricata
Family  :  Convolvulaceae

                  Clove bean is vine plant which gives crops throughout the year. In Kerala where it is pretty common it is called 'Nithya Vazhuthana' / Nithyavazhuthina നിത്യ വഴുതന which means that it provides the crop always throughout the year. The fruits which look like a bulb is used for cooking.

                          This plant can grow without having much care and attention. It will even grow in partial sunlight. The fruits are very small and a large number of fruits grow on the plant. It starts flowering by around 50 days after planting. The plant is grown from the seeds inside the fruit itself.The fruits can be used for cooking very tasty and nutritious dishes.

Clove bean harvesting ( Video)

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Coconut Tree - Cocos Nucifera

Coconut Tree

Name : Coconut Tree, Coconut Palm
Scientific Name : Cocos Nucifera
Family : Arecaceae 

Coconut tree belongs to the palm family. It grows very tall (even up to 30 meters). Almost all parts of the coconut tree are usable. The leaves are very long. And the fruits are grown on the top of it.

Coconut Fruit

Coconut fruit is a very large heavy fruit. It comprises of Husk, Shell , White flesh (Solid endosperm) and Coconut water (Liquid endosperm). The husk is used to making coir. The shell which is veryhard can be used for making various crafts. The white flesh is used in cooking in various parts of the world. The coconut water is very delicious and healthy.
                                                 The dried white flesh is used to make coconut oil which is used for both cooking and apply on hair.

Tender coconut
                  Tender coconut is the coconut before it is fully ripen. It includes more quantity of juice and is very tasty and is having a lot of health benefits.

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Cocoa Tree – Cacao Tree – Theobroma Cacao

The cocoa fruits are used to make chocolate and cocoa powder. There are mainly two types of cocoa fruits. First one - outside of the fruits are green in color and will turn yellowish once ripen. Second one - outside of the fruits are violet in color and will turn yellowish once ripen.

Cocoa bean

Cocoa bean lies inside the cocoa pod. It is taken outside, dried and powdered. It is a major ingredient of chocolates and some food items.

The harvesting can be done almost throughout the year. The ripen fruits are plucked and the beans can be taken by breaking the pod. (See the below video) . Usually the farmers will dry the beans and sell it to the farmers.

Africa is the leader in cocoa production.The world's largest cocoa producing country is Ivory Coast and Ghana is the second.

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Costus Igneus - Insulin Plant - Medicinal plant for diabetes treatment

Name - Costus Igneus - Insulin Plant - Spiral Flag Family - Costaceae In India Costus Igneus is also called Insulin Plant . It is t...