Contributors to FOI

The two of us started out as just laypersons, interested in flowers. So, identifying every flower we saw, was a daunting task. And seeing flowers in all parts of India was a more difficult one. Over time, Flowers of India has grown into a community effort, with lots of people contributing in various ways. We can safely quote Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi to describe the Flowers of India effort:

मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिबे मंज़िल मगर, लोग साथ आते गये और कारवां बनता गया ॥
(I started all alone towards the goal/(but) people kept joining and it slowly turned into a caravan)

The Flowers of India site has now grown considerably since its birth in 2005, and so has the number of people associated with the site. Now the Flowers of India community is indeed a caravan of flower-crazy people. It involves many independent footloose flower-hunters, who travel to various parts of the country and capture the local flora in their cameras, which eventually gets added to the site. These flower-hunters come from various walks of life. They are enthusiastic trekkers who dare to go where few have ventured before. They are family-walas who turn their hill-station vacation into flower-hunting trips. They are houswives who get their taxis stopped in middle of nowhere because they spotted a flower on the roadside. They are students whose thirst for new things and adventure is never-quenching.

There are lots of people who regularly watch the site for unidentified flowers and keep sending their feedback. Their contribution is enormous, since identifying every wildflower that we come across is certainly no easy job.

Listed below are the major contributors to the site:
Prashant Awale:
Prashant is an engineer by profession and developed watching wild flowers as a hobby. He has been extensively trekking the sahyadri ranges. He has become an active contributor to the site by frequently sending us his beautifully photographed wild-flowers. He often hunts out very rare flowers.
Dinesh Valke:
Dinesh is an enthusiastic amatuer photographer and nature lover, and works at ISL Internal Communications, IBM. He has been going after the flora with an admirable determination. He regularly watches the site and contributes new flower pictures and identifications. He is simply amazing at hunting out regional names of flowers and putting them in native scripts. A huge lot of vernacular names, in native scripts, have been provided by him. He has recently singlehandedly built a wonderful website on Names of Plants in India.
Pravin Kawale:
Pravin is an enthusiastic nature lover and a talented photographer. He has an NGO, Nisargmitra Alibag, which works for nature conservation. He regularly sends us pictures of wildflowers of the Western Ghats. His pictures are beautifully taken, and already identified when they reach us.
Saroj Kasaju:
Saroj Kasaju is retired from aviation industry, and has grown into a passionate naturalist. He has been contributing flower pictures and identifications to the site since 2014. He focuses on flowers of the east Himalayan region. Going a step further, now he is contributing to the flora of Nepal by writing papers in botany, describing new species. In an enviable feat, he provided, and continues to provide, Nepali names for several hundreds of flowers, and put them carefully in the native script too.
Susant More:
Sushant from Mumbai, is a masters student of Botany with special interest in Ceropegias of India and Asteraceae, Acanthaceae, Orchidaceae. He even has a new species Echinops sahyadricus to his credit. It is his dream to contribute to the documentation of Indian plants. He has been mostly contributing pictures of the flowers of the Western Ghats.
Navendu Pagé:
Navendu Pagé (pronounced paagay) is student of botany in Bangalore. His skill in his field can be guaged from the fact that he identified flowers lying in our unidentified list, 15 at first go, 21 at second go and 6 at third go! He made a trip to Sikkim and took a large number of really nice photographs of Himalayan flowers, and contributed them here.
Siddarth Machado:
Siddarth is a passionate plant enthusiast, and a research scholar at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. He has been exploring the flora of Western Ghats and has been contributing some difficult to find flowers from the region.
J. M. Garg:
J.M. Garg is a passionate naturalist and wildlife photographer. He is the creater of the Google group Efloraofindia which has become a haven for plant lovers trying to identify their plants. J.M. Garg has become an avid watcher of the FOI site. He also keeps sending pictures, corrections, thus helping the site to carry state-of-the-art information.
Thingnam Sophia:
Sophia is a very keen flower enthusiast from Manipur. She has been taking pains to photograph flowers from Manipur, and sending them to us despite lack of good facilities. She has sent us lots of flowers specific to Manipur.
S. Kasim:
S. Kasim is a senior manager at Bank of Baroda in Chennai. He studied BSc (Agriculture) at TNAU, Madurai Campus. He has been flower-hunting all alone and has been sending us lot of wildflowers from Tamil Nadu. As of now, he is the only one contributing flower pictures photographed from this important area of Western Ghats.
Nongthombam Ullysess:
Ullysess started out as an interested observer, but has slowly grown into an active participant. He has identified many flowers, contributed many flower pictures, and has been part of our unorganised flower-hunting trips.
P.S. Sivaprasad:
Sivaprasad is a nature photographer, based in Coimbatore, and has a long track record of photographing plants, birds, amphibians, moths etc., and has contributed to publishing of numerous books, booklets and brochures on these subjects. He has been photographing flowers for more than three decades. He started contributing to FOI only in January 2017, and became a major contributor within just seven months.
Shaista Ahmad:
An overenthusiastic student, doing her Ph.D. in physics. She helped us identify lots of flowers, and is a keen flower-hunter too. She decided to become the self-styled PRO of the site and has done wonders in making the site known to flower lovers and botanists.
R.K. Nimai Singh:
It was a stroke of luck for us that Dr. Nimai Singh discovered our site. He is an Admistrative Services officer, but has a long-standing interest in plants. He has introduced many new plants in Manipur. His knowledge of plants is enviable and he has been generous in sharing it by identifying plants which were especially difficult for us.
Krishan Lal:
Krishan Lal is a PWD employee in Sirmaur distt. of Himachal Pradesh. He is not a botanist by training, but has been photographing and identifying wildflowers for more than 20 years. He has published many papers regarding new addition to the flora of HP. He is actively contributing to bringing the biodiversity of this region to the site. Sadly, Krishan Lal breathed his last on 10th February 2016 because of a heart attack.
Gurcharan Singh:
Dr. Gurcharan is one of the few botanists involved with the site. He is prolific in his field and has done detailed study of the flora of Jammu and Kashmir. He has just retired from Khalsa College in Delhi, and devotes his full time capturing and identifying flora. He frequently sends us flower pictures and identifications and corrections, which are done with professional acumen. He is a boon to the site.
Pankaj Kumar:
Dr. Pankaj Kumar, who is Conservation Officer at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong, is our orchids expert. He has contributed lots of pictures of orchids and other himalayan flowers. He has also identified numerous orchid pictures on the site. He keeps a special watch on the orchids section.
Gary Thingnam:
Gary is a young flower enthusiast in Manipur who has been contributing flower pictures to the site for more than 15 years, since she was a school-kid. She used to photograph native flowers as and when she could lay her hands on a camera by hook or crook. With the advent of smartphones, she switched to photographing flowers using her phone. She is always on a lookout for flowers, both wild and cultivated.
M. Sawmliana:
Sawmliana is a forest conservator and an avid nature lover, based in Mizoram. He has authored several books on plants. He has been finding rare plants from Mizoram and contributing the flower pictures to the website. He has also contributed more than 500 Mizo names of flowers to the website.
Sunit Singh:
Sunit is a passionate plant enthusiast who is pursuing Ph.D. in botany. He is immensely interested in Taxonomy & Ethnobotany of the Alpine and Glacial flora of Western Himalaya. He has contributed numerous rare pictures to the website and also assisted with identifications and corrections as well.
N Arun Kumar:
Arun Kumar is a student of botany and started contributing to the site while he was doing his graduation in environmental science. His main interests are plant taxonomy and plant ecology. He is brilliant at identifying flowers, has been contributing pictures of flowers from his various botanical excursions, and has also been helping with numerous identifications and corrections on the site.
Momang Taram:
Momang Taram is a budding botanist from Arunachal Pradesh, currently (2022) doing her PhD. She is prolific in her field, having already published more than 40 research papers at a young age. She is also passionate about ethnobotany, studying relations between plants and human society. Momang has been contributing pictures of rare flowers from Arunachal Pradesh, including those discovered by her.
Jambey Tsering:
Dr. Jambey Tsering is a scientist at Deptt of Environment, Forest & Climate, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh, and is passionate about orchids. He had been using the FOI website for many years, and in 2022 he decided to contribute back to the site. He has been photographing rare orchids of NE India over many years, and he shared with FOI his huge haul of beautiful, rare orchids, all beautifully photographed and identified, thanks to his skill in his field.
Anil Kumar Thakur:
Dr. Anil Kumar Thakur, presently based in Shimla, is a botanist working in the Deptt of Higher Education, Govt of HP for the last 25 years, actively publishing books and papers. His love for Nature always keeps him close to the Plants through nature walks and floristic explorations. He has been popularizing ‘plant knowledge’ by writing blogs and organizing exhibitions. He has been actively contributing to the site for a long time.
Thingnam Rajshree:
Rajshree is a student pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology. She has been photographing flowers for many years now and has been part of many of our flower-hunting trips. She is an avid photographer and nature lover, and has a keen eye for flowers. Currently based in Manipur, she is exploring fowers of the Northeast, and has photographed many rare flowers.
Ashutosh Sharma:
Ashutosh is an independent researcher graduated in Forestry. He does research in Plant Systematics/ Taxonomy, Biodiversity, Ethnobotany and Forest Ecology. He is working on exploring the floral diversity of Western Himalayas with special interests in family Orchidaceae and Balsaminaceae. He is a regular contributor of Himalayan flowers to the website.
Nidhan Singh:
Dr. Nidhan Singh is a botanist by profession, at I.B. (PG) College, Panipat. He is an avid explorer of flowers of Western Himalaya, and organizes frequent field trips with his students. He frequently sends us flower pictures which are already identified, and has contributed some difficult to find species to the site.
Aarti Khale:
Aarti is a home-maker who has been contributing pictures of garden flowers and trees to the site since 2007. She is a self indulgent flower enthusiast and scans the nurseries and gardens of the cities she visits. She was based in Oman for a long time, and made use of her frequent visits to India to photograph garden flowers.
Anurag N. Sharma:
Anurag is a student of natural sciences at St. Joseph's College in Bangalore. He has been exploring forests in Karnataka and Kerala and especially enjoys finding and photographing minute herbs. He has been contributing interesting flowers, from Karnataka and Kerala, and also from the Himalayas.

Some of the others who have been contributing in various ways, are:

Gifts/donations to Flowers of India team:

  1. Geeta Rane from Mumbai gifted the book
    Flowers of Sahyadri by S. Ingalhalikar
  2. Keith Holmes from Australia, gifted the book
    Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers by D. Greig Adam Stainton.
  3. Pradip Krishen gifted the book
    Trees of Lodhi Garden by Pradip Krishen.
  4. Suvrajyoti Chatterjee gifted a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35
    digital camera to the FOI team.

  • Last, but not the least, the content of this site is generated using David Ekholm's JAlbum, a great piece of opensource software. If you ever think of having a web-album of photographs, do give it a try - it is amazingly simple, and does amazing number of things.

    Thingnam Girija