Title of the Practice : Today’s Plant
Goal : To explore and bring in focus the phy to diversity of this region in terms of displaying a plant everyday in the college and to provide its botanical information or uses if any.
The trees, flowers and different plants in the environment are the spirit of relaxation for both mind and soul. The college has started this activity ‘Today’s Plant’ because the present region, the Sindhudurg district in which the present college is located belongs to the geographically diverse region and the floristically rich province; the Western Ghats which gained importance as the ‘heritage sites’ by the UNESCO.
The Western Ghats harbor more than 7402 species of flowering plants; 1273 being endemic to the region and about 1814 species of non-flowering plants with many more species of plants and animals still to be discovered.
Therefore considering the vast phy to diversity which is the biography of this region, the prime focus of this activity is to get acquainted with the botanical knowledge of the diverse species of plants found in this region and in different remote villages and forested areas of the tehsil.
The ultimate purpose of this activity is to discern the scientific knowledge, names, uses and ecological significance of the plants which are the wealth of this region to those who are ignorant of it.
1. The activity is conducted by the Botany department.
2. The practice involves displaying a new plant each day in the college premise in the form of a flowering twig or a whole plant in a container with its all scientific information written on a sheet which is placed near to it.
3. The information on the sheet contains plants scientific name, common name, plant family, and important taxonomic characters which are useful in its field identification.
4. The information also includes the plants miscellaneous uses or medicinal or special use if any or for instance toxic nature.
5. The information also contains reference of the nativity of the plant so that the students will learn about the exotic or the introduced plants.
6. Sometimes special displays are arranged such as the ‘Vegetable week’, the ‘Medicinal plants,’ ‘Aromatic plants,’ ‘Succulents’, ‘Grasses’or ‘Family of the week’ and so on.
7. The practice of displaying the plants is mainly performed by S.Y.B.Sc. Botany students who in groups or pairs collect plants, search scientific information about them in the flora’s or literature and display it as a sheet on board.
8. The students also consult their teachers regarding the authentic identification of the plant or the specimen.
9. The display sheets are maintained in the file and are reused by subsequent students and the batches.
10. The display sheets also become the botanical resource for the phy to diversity of the region.
Evidence of Success :
This practice is going on for last ten years or more and there is a great collection of plant information which is maintained in the form of display sheets.Not only Botany students but other students or even guests show interest in getting information from the display.
Problems Encountered :
1. Problems are encountered whenever students bring a specimen that is entirely new or unfamiliar to the teachers. But in this case, although the scientific name is not revealed;attempt is made to classify the plant at higher classification level i.e. at family, order or class level.
2. Problems are also encountered when students bring a plant when it is not in flowering or after the plant has produced seeds. As most plants and plant families are identified by their floral characteristics; a specimen without flowering gets difficult for identification.
3. Further the problems appear when there happens to be any negligence or discontinuity in the display by the students.
4. Again technical problems are due to lack of sufficient botanical literature, references and floras which are helpful for identifying the plants or diagnosing the groups.
Resources Required :
1. The important resources for this activity are the Flora’s, Field guides, Manuals and Reference books.
2. Internet facility for online searching.