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This book describes flowering plants that are commonly cultivated or planted in Sri Lanka for food, wood, medicine, fuelwood, shade or ornamental purposes. These plants usually have to be planted deliberately by humans and do not generally spread widely by themselves. This selection of species is offered not only through the lens of their many uses to humans but also to celebrate their beauty.
Several of the plants described in this book had their origins in other lands. Sri Lanka has hundreds of plants introduced for various purposes, which have now become an integral part of our island's landscape. Many of these plants were planted deliberately both in urban and rural areas of the country not only for the products they provide, but also for shade and beauty.
Like the previous volume Flowering Plants Commonly Encountered in Sri Lankan Habitats, this book also has been written to be read and easily understood by the general public. The authors, all biologists, have minimised the use of scientific terminology without foregoing scientific accuracy.
The plants described in this book have been placed in one of three sections: plants grown for their beauty; plants grown for their products; and plants grown for their services. Within each section, the plants have been listed alphabetically by scientific name, and common English, Sinhala and Tamil names have also been provided, where available. The text is greatly enhanced by the photographs generously provided by both professional photographers and amateurs.