Connarus monocarpus. S: Radaliya, T: Chettupulukodi - Manawila, Wilpattu National Park - Photography-Anu Weerasuriya
Scarlet pods in the sand
Radaliya is a large shrub indigenous to Sri Lanka and India and used by the people of these countries in native medicine. The trunk of the tree is reticulate. The inner bark is beefy red while the wood of the Radaliya is mottled pink.
If damaged the trunk exudes a watery substance. The leaves are pinnate, made up of paired leaflets. Each leaflet has a rounded base. They are shiny dark green on top and paler with minute scales on the underside.
The veins can be seen in a reticulate pattern creating a network of squares on the surface of the leaf. The young leaves and even other parts of the tree are tomentose – woolly or covered with soft hairs. The flowers of the Radaliya are pyramid-shaped and erect and appear from July to September. The fruits of this species make the tree easily recognisable.
They are scarlet pods with a roughly oval shape, which hold in each a single shiny black seed. The outer surface of the fruit is coarse with longitudinal striations. With these pretty fruits hanging at the ends of the branches the Radaliya forms a conspicuous part of the landscape in places like Wilpattu.
Look out for it on the banks of the Kuruttu Pandi Villu in Wilpattu. It can also be seen in Anuradhapura. It grows well in sandy soils, sand dunes and in secondary forests in the dry lowlands. The Radaliya is known as Chettupulukodi in Tamil. The scientific name is Connarus monocarpus.
Compiled by: Ruk Rakaganno - 2554438; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Red-wattled Lapwing. Lobivanellus indicus indicus. S: Kirala. T: Al-katti
Manawila, Wilpattu National Park - Photography-Anu Weerasuriya
The breeding season is during the south-west monsoon, June being the favourite month. Four eggs are laid in a shallow scrape on the ground, usually among stones or debris but quite unsheltered by vegetation; they are arranged in the form of a cross, the small ends pointing inwards. They are greyish ochreous, mottled and blotched all over with sepia and black, and measure about 43x31mm. - G.M. Henry, A Guide to the Birds of Ceylon.