From the preface:
"Flowers of Sahyadri received a good response from amateurs and professionals. Landscape designers, ecologists, foresters and a number of flower-spotters communicated the usefulness of the field guide. Meanwhile ‘flower watching’ as a scientific hobby has acquired popularity among nature lovers The thrill of capturing small beauties has caught up ‘with shutter-bugs who usually went after the rnega fauna. Herbs have started claiming a rightful mention in biodiversity lists. These changes encouraged me to compile this concluding part of the earlier field guide. This book should be read as a continuation of Flowers of Sahyadri
Sahyaradri's global hotspot for biodiversity is catching everyone‘s attention. In the spectrum of over 2500 flowering plants, Flowers of Sahyadri covered only 500 conspicuous flowers. Continued exploration in Sahyadri revealed to me that the list of 500 flowers was only the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the small and rare flowers continued to appear as ‘unidentified’. The cultivated plants of urban habitats also intervened with wild species and needed to be illustrated with photographs. The scope of this field guide was hence expanded to include the maximum number of species that inhabit Sahyadri.
Making a compromise with the handiness of the book, 800 flowering plants of ‘Wild’ habitats and 100 cultivated exotics of ‘Urban’ habitats are included. These 900 Species are described with botanical text and are illustrated with colour photographs. The presentation format is altered. Tabulated information is included for identification of 200 ‘Allied’ species that have flowers resembling illustrated species of both field guides. In spite of a vigilant search for years some flowers still eluded rne; 100 such species are listed as ‘Excluded Species‘. The exploration and identification of excluded species is suggested on the basis of tabulated information.
The extension of the geographical scope of this field guide was felt necessary because some adjoining areas of great ecological importance were left out. New areas have been annexed to the earlier geographical scope on both ends. The diversity of Sahyadri habitats is now ideally represented.
Exploring and identifying another 800 species of rare and small flowers was all the more difficult, but the passionate relationship with flowers proved stronger. The thrill of the first 500 flowers was their beauty whereas with the next 800 it was their obscurity and rareness. The combined list of 1700 species is yet far from covering all the flowering plants of Sahyadri. However, with the addition of this field guide, most queries of identification from trekkers, plant lovers and weekend explorers of Sahyadri will be satisfied.
With an array of 1400 species illustrated in two guides, an additional help besides the grouping was felt necessary for locating and identifying species. This concluding field guide is supplemented with an innovative compact disc 'Identick' containing a database for search and identification of 1400 species. Flower lovers will enjoy this user friendly search engine.
The fortunate denizens of splendid Sahyadri will be delighted to know what array of flowering plants make this habitat a global hotspot. Presence of tiger is suggestive of the rich flora and fauna of Sahyadri. We want our future generations to watch the apex predator hunting its natural prey, so we must begin by conserving plants like Utricularia minutissima at the grassroots. They are a life form as important as the tiger. Watching tiny plants through the magnifying glass hunting the micro-sized insects can be as thrilling as watching the tiger hunt through the binoculars."
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