The Lily family, Liliaceae, originally consisted of about 4000 plus known species. Latest classification has organized these into more compact, related families.
Lilies are showy monocot flowers. The plants are herbaceous perennials, propagating from underground bulbs. The flowers have six, colored tepals (not petals) in two whorls of three each. Though lilies produce seeds, they are not viable.
Lilies are widely distributed, mostly in warm temperate and tropical regions. They are valuable ornamental plants and are traded as cut flowers. The oil extracted from lilies has healing and softening properties for sensitive skin. Especially, when the lily fragrance oil is mixed with Calendula oil, it works wonderfully.
Lily flowers stand for love, purity, femininity, unity and transience. We will look at a few flowers that bear the name Lily; may not be ‘True Lilies’ technically, according to new classification.
My Second post on Greater Coucal or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis). These regular visitors to my garden are not much scared of my presence, as the pictures show.
Greater Coucals are as big as a crow, with reddish brown wings and unmissable red eyes. They are found in wide range of habitats from jungle to urban gardens and are residents of Indian subcontinent. These birds forage on the ground or among the foliage for insects, lizards etc.
During breeding season, they appear in pairs. Greater coucal has a deep resonant “khoomp-khoomp-khoomp…” sound. In the early mornings I can hear a pair calling out, one responding to the other.
The deep calls are associated with superstitious beliefs of spirits and ill omens, though irrational! In my State the sight of this bird is considered as a good omen!!