Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Desert Grass- Stipagrotis

 The desert grasses play an important role in holding the shifting sands of the desert with their roots. The Stipagrotis which is found in the Thar desert, looks like pale gold hair. The flowers are very tiny and are wind pollinated.
The roots of the grass are home to nitrogen fixing bacteria.The clumps of grass act as a shady retreat for small birds and animals in the relentless heat of the desert.
I came across this grass in the Rao Jodha Deser Rock Park in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Job's Tear Grass

 The curious grass in these pictures grows beads with holes to string them! Village children love to gather the 'beads' and make necklaces and other jewelry out of them. The 'beads' have a natural pearly sheen. They can be easily dyed or painted.
Coix lacrymis jobi, or Job's tear grass grows in swampy places in the tropics. It is usually seen at the edge of coffee plantations. It is called Hullu Mani in Kannada.It is used as a fodder for cattle. Wild elephants are said to be fond of this grass. In Nagaland, the grain is brewed to make a beer. The grain is said to be highly nutritious.