Down to Earth

When we see any such plant as in the accompanying picture,we call it a palm.

Written by Dr Satish Narula | Published: April 4, 2013 3:08:18 am

When we see any such plant as in the accompanying picture,we call it a palm. But this plant,Cycas circinallis,is a cycad and has nothing to do with palms. This plant is a close associate of the cycas,technically its sister strain,but is generally called a palm. That is also wrongly called kangi palm; it’s a misnomer. Similarly,there are also such plants as the zamia palm,ponytail palm and travellers’ palm that are not evenly remotely related to palms.

My mango bloom is turning black. What is the reason? Is it normal or due to some disease?

Raminder Singh,Mohali

The blackening in blooms and premature fruit and flower drop is due to a powdery mildew and mango hopper. Spray karathane and malathion dissolved at one and two ml respectively. Repeat the spray after 10 days.

My litchi tree is in the flowering stage. Should I spray anything? Is there any insect that could harm it?

Gurdev Singh,Mohali

There is no serious insect,pest or disease in litchi. However,it has been observed that spraying bavistin,dissolved at one gram to a litre of water,increases the number of fruits per bunch.

I have seen a blue flowering climber in a house,which is in bloom these days. The flowers are star-shaped and there is hardly any leaf on the climber. Which climber is it?

On email

The climber,as per the description given,is Patrea volubilis. It is known only by this name to the nurserymen too. There is no common name for it.

My gladiolus flowers are over. What is to be done next? Should the bulbs be extracted from soil?


Stop watering and after about 15 days,you can extract the corms. Treat these with bavistin solution made by dissolving bavistin at two gram to a litre of water. Dip the corms in this solution for two hours. Dry and store at a cool place.

For gardening queries,ASK DR GREEN at

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