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:
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 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 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 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 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. He first discovered and photographed a new plant species, and it is named after him - Thunbergia kasajuana. 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.
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 (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 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.
R.K. Nimai 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
S. Kasim is a senior manager at Bank of Baroda in Chennai. He studied BSc (Agriculture) at TNAU, Madurai Campus. He has been flowering-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.
Anurag N. Sharma:
Some of the others who have been contributing in various ways, are: