Dr.MAGADI R. GURUDEVA is a
lecturer in Botany, Visveswarapura
college of Science, Bangalore. He has
drawn inspiration from his father
Dr. C.R.Rangegowda, who was a M.L.A.,
and a Homoeopathist. He has a
multifaceted personality. He has
many literary and scientific works
to his credit. His fascination
for orchids led him to obtain
a Doctoral degree on them from
the University of Bangalore.
He has penned many poems and
also drawn cartoons a rare combination.
He is a good artist with a flair for
photography. This book is a testimony
of his commitment towards plants.
The importance of plants is realised today in the best way by man
than at any other time. Several important fileds like Bio-diversity, Food
and Agriculture, Ecology, Environment and Health to name a few are all
plant related disciplines. It has thus, become inevitable to be familiar
with the plants surrounding us. Plants are recognised by man to begin
with, in his own vernacular or folk name. In a country like India, where
diversity exists at its peak, several communities live along the length
and breadth of the land. The plants surrounding these diverse
communities and used by them are recognised in their own language
providing a vernacular or folk name. Thus, one botanically known plant
is known by a number of different vernacular or folk names. The value
of recognising a plant with the help of a vernacular or folk name becomes
apparent when the particular plant or drug is botanically identified and
its usefulness to the society is established. Unfortunately, very limited
literature exists where all such vernacular or folk names are available in
one place. Hence, it is necessary to have Compendiums of Botanical and
Vernacular names. In attaining this objective, the present book by Dr.
Magadi R. Gurudeva is a welcome addition. He has strived hard to
compile the different vernacular names found scattered in the literature
and correlate them with the correct botanical name, making it user
friendly both to a layman and as well as for scientists. While I take this
opportunity to congratulate Dr. Gurudeva for bringing out this useful
compendium, I am confident that all plant lovers will derive benefit from
Plants constitute an integral part of human life. Every moment of
man's life is influenced by them. Ever since man understood the
importance of plants, he started grouping them into edible, non-edible,
medicinal, non-medicinal, poisonous, non-poisonous etc. and naming them
to recognise each individually from the language he is familiar with. Thus,
to day the most useful plants have their names derived from the regional
languages, popularly called vernacular names.
- Vernacular names of plants do not constitute a method. Each name
is a law unto itself; it may originate without reference to any other name;
it may be an old folk-name or a chance appellation; it may be a degenerated
form of another word. It may be a translated word from another language.
In certain cases Latin generic names have become vernacular names.
Vernacular names are not universal names; they are applied
indiscriminately to genera, species and varieties. They lack precision
and not only avoid relationships but many of them suggest false kinship.
It is therefore, suggested to reject the use of vernacular names and
emphasize the adoption of botanical names in scientific investigations.
However, it cannot be denied that many of the commonest and most useful
plants are recognised by definite vernacular names. Farmers, foresters,
gardeners, horticulturists and laymen still use vernacular names when
dealing with plants in their day to day life. To cater to their needs the
present compendium is prepared.
In this compendium botanical names of plants occurring in South
India have been arranged alphabetically and numbered serially. Botanical
names which contain an asterisk sign (*) indicate that these plants do
not occur in South India but have South Indian vernacular names.
Botanical names are followed by relevant synonyms in italics and
name of the family to which they belong in capital letters. Botanical
names found ifi earlier literature like Useful Plants of India, The
Indigenous Drugs of India, Indian Materia Medica etc., are retained
as synonyms, if different from the valid botanical name to facilitate the
user to correlate these names found in these literatures with the present
Effort has been made to update the nomenclature of plants,
however, some plants still appear under old names to avoid confusion.
Each botanical name is correlated with one or more vernacular
name from English, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marati,
Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Tulu languages. Widely used vernacular
names are highlighted in bold letters. In vernacular names several
varients in spellings of the names are in usage due to the difference in
pronounciation, for e.g. Datura metel L. : (in Kannada) Datthoora,
Datthoori, Dathuri, Dhatthoora, Dusthoori, Duthura, Duthuri etc. In such
cases selected common names are given.
Appendix-I provides the full name of the authors of plants included
in the compendium. Appendix-II gives alternate names of selected
families. The Bibliography covers the literature referred to.
A separate index has been tabulated for Botanical names, Families,
English, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marati, Sanskrit, Tamil,
Telugu and Tulu names to facilitate the search of Botanical names in the
This compendium is dedicated to my professor Late Dr. D.A.
Govindappa, Head of the department of Botany (Retd.), Mysore and
Bangalore University, as a token of my humble contribution for the
inspiration and encouragement which I received from him.
It is my privilege to thank Dr. S.N. Yoganarasimhan, Senior
Research Officer and Head of the Medicinal Plants Division, Regional
Research Institute (Ayurveda), Bangalore, for his encouragement and
writing the foreword. I sincerely thank Prof. A. Govindaraju, Principal,
Prof. Muthe Gowda, Head of the department of Botany & Microbiology,
Visveswarapura College of Science and Prof. H.N. Ramakrishna, Prof.
(Smt.) K. V. Shantha Prof. (Dr.) Khalid Rasheed Khan, all Ex Principals
of Visveswarapura College of Science, Bangalore for their constant
encouragement and support. I also thank my friends, colleagues and my
family for their help rendered during the preparation of this compendium.
It is my pleasure to thank Kumari Yogitha and Smt. Lalitha of Little
Graphics, Bangalore for their DTP work; Messers Divyachandra
Prakashana, Bangalore, who richly deserve appreciation for undertaking
to publish and print this compendium.
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