Monday, November 16, 2009

Rare flower blooms in Kheri

Photo&Text by: Krishna Kumar Mishra

Rare flower blooms in Kheri
Amorphophallus  paeoniifolius (Amarphophallus= shapeless penis, paeoniifolius= peony like foliage)

The biggest and one of the rarest flowers in the world is blooming in Salempur village of Kheri district Uttar Pradesh India.

This flower is about 1.5 feet tall and will bloom for only 5-6 days before shedding its leaves. The flower emits an odor most frequently compared to that of rotting flesh. In India, which is home of the Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, the plant is known as the Elephant Yam or Khanta. One of the Earth’s most unusual plants- the Elephant Yam- is now in full flower in the Salempur village. The Flower of the Elephant Yam is a large purple knob with a scent like rotting flesh to attract its pollinators, carrion flies and beetles.  Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, the Elephant Yam, belongs to the Aroid family, Araceae. This family contains many plants recognized as having ornamental appeal such as Arum lilies, Monstera, A. titanium and Syngonium. The family is charecterised by its inflorescence, consisting of fleshy spike of small flowers(spadix) usually subtended by a large bract. Elephant Yam occurs through the tropics, from India to New Guinea and to Australia. The species was previously called Amorphophallus campanulatus.
This plant produces a single inflorescence followed by a solitary leaf. The plant is deciduous, dying back to a large underground corm, weighing up to 9 kg, after the growing season. Some people regard the inflorescence as bizarre. It comprises a large spadix crowned with a bulbous purple knob, encircled by a fleshy purple and green blotched spathe up to 50cm wide. On successful pollination of the female flowers the spadix can extend to 2 meter tall. The fresh inflorescence emits an odore reminiscent of rotting flesh to attract pollinating carrion flies and beetles.Some people regard the inflorescence as bizarre, they believe that the flower is the symbol of Lord Shiva’s phallus. The flowering of Zimikand or Elephant Yam, not usually seen in northern India, In a village has evoked lot of curiosity among people. Salempur, a village near lakhimpur city of kheri district India, has suddenly become a much visited place, thanks to  the great nature mother which has many uniqe biological phenomenon. The people started making a line to the place to see the plant. The inflorescence blossomed in the muddy, home premises of the villagers. The unusual feature of the flower is that its big phallus like flower emerged from the earth in the last week of the May, high temperature may be main cause to the flowering of this plant, I asked to the people of my district that they saw that flower in his life or not, They never seen it in his life, villagers said. It happens only after 9 to 12 year like Bamboo’s flowering.

A number of plants and flower symbol have a different significance from that which is generally given to them, we are all familiar with barely was the symbol of valva in ancient Rome, lotus is found throughout antiquity, in art as well as in religion, was a sexual symbol, representing to the ancients the combination of male and female sexual organs. It is another expression of the sex worship of that time.  In Salempur village the worship of phallic flower, it is the best example of phallicism in India, we can found the sex worship and symbolism of primitive tribes in our literature and sculptures.

The Earth’s smelliest flower has opened in the Kheri district. The bloom is attracting thousands of admires. It is the first time the flower, Elephant Yam, has bloomed in district Kheri, people and botanist said.
It smells like a dead animal.  The flower started to bloom at Salempur village, district kheri, Uttar Pradesh, India, at morning Wednesday when a village girl went his home’s premises where this beautiful and unusual flower has emerged from Soil, She started crying “what this is”! People gathered at place where this flower was bloomed, but they could not identified this phallus like flower, They felt it is the symbol of Lord Shiva and start worship of this big flower by flowers.

Amorphophallus is a big genus of some 170 tropical and subtropical tuberous herbaceous plants from the Araceae family. It belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth digging in to them. However, calicium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.
The flower are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female but both sexes can be found on the same plant) are pollinated by flies.

Medical Uses
The root is carminative, restorative, stomachic and tonic. It is dried and used in the treatment of piles and dysentery, the fresh root acts as an acrid stimulant and expectorant. It is much use in our country in the treatment of acute rheumatism.

I found this beautiful flower every year since I discovered it in my district lakhimpur Kheri.

Krishna Kumar Mishra
77, Canal Road Shiv Colony Lakhimpur Kheri
Uttar Pradesh, India

Two-Headed Viper Found in Kheri- This is a Siamese twins not evolution

Posted by PicasaTwo-Headed Viper

Two-Headed Snake Found- This is a Siamese twins not evolution 

The hypothesis of Sheshanaga (thousands of Heads in one snake) may be true……………………….

The two-headed Devils of myth may have a basis in reality. Two-headed snakes are rare but not unheard of, and one recently found in Mirpur village of Kheri district Uttar Pradesh India is giving me an opportunity to study how the anomaly affects their ability to hunt, forage and mate.

The snake in India, discovered in agricultural field near the village of Mirpur, is two or three month old deadly venomous Russell’s viper Daboia russelii. It is about twelve inches long. It’s probably lucky it was captured- its chances of surviving in the wild are nil but in the custody of villagers it is not possible because they have no any experience of animal rearing.

You may think about feeding, mating and hunting behavior of two-headed viper when the snake has two nervous systems in single body. Just observing them(two heads) feed, Often fighting over which head will swallow the prey, shows that feeding takes a good deal of time, during which they would be highly vulnerable to predators. They also have a great deal of difficulty deciding which direction to go, and if they had to respond to an attack quickly they would just not be capable of it.

The eggs of hen is the main food of this captured snake given by villagers, Eating is very slow due to fight of each head for seeking food.

And that's assuming that both heads are hungry at the same time, and both are interested in pursuing the same prey.

Even in captivity, there are problems. Snakes operate a good deal by smell, and if one head catches the scent of prey on the other's head, it will attack and try to swallow the second head. 

Two-headed snakes typically occur in the same way that Siamese twins do. A developing embryo begins to split into identical twins but then stops part way, leaving the twins joined. Among humans, 75 percent of conjoined twins are stillborn or die within 24 hours.

Each head of two headed snake would be highly individual because each head has its own brain with one spinal cord. It will be interesting how and whether the two heads cooperate in targeting and capturing prey, and what role two brains play in regulating hunger and mediating other behaviors.

The Russell’s viper belongs to order Squamata and family Viperinae, which is found in Asia throughout the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan. It is the senior member of the big four venomous snakes in India.

After reading the literature I found that the two-headed Russell’s Viper is not recorded in world, while other species of double headed snakes have been found in Honduras, USA, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Spain.

The two-headed snake of Kheri died on 27 July 2006 in the captivity of Villagers.

= Viper has thick body up to 5 feet long, head is large, flat, and covered with small scales, nostrils are lateral, eyes are far forwards, there is a sensory pit between the eyes and the nostril in some, pits are sensory organs with which the snake can detect its prey. The scales on the body are keeled. Tail is short and tapers abruptly. The Indian Russell’s viper has enlarged nostrils unlike other vipers, It is pale brown above with three longitudinal series of black rings, each ring is bordered with white, ventrally it is yellowish. Scales on the head are small and keeled. In viper the maxilla is small and bears long, movable fangs (poisonous teeth) with canals, the fangs are erected for biting and folded back against the roof of the mouth when not in use. Vipers are nocturnal, in biting it opens its mouth very wide and strikes like lightning, thursting its long fangs, the poison is deadly. Vipers are viviparous and are found in Indian subcontinent, other vipers have species in EuropeAfrica and Asia.

Krishna Kumar Mishra

Wildlife Conservationist& nature Photographer

77 Canal Road Shiv Colony Lakhimpur Kheri-262701

Uttar PradeshIndia