November 13, 2002 

Inspiration for the day

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Ravi, ‘Verbina’, Mundakkal, Kollam

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Centuries after the Portuguese scholar Van Reed published ‘Hortus Malabaricus’, the next authoritative work on grasses has been authored by Ravi, a retired professor of Botany from Kerala.  His work, ‘Sedges and Grasses’, which is the result of 9 years of research after retirement, will be published in India by Oxford IBH and abroad by the American firm, Science Publishers.

His findings on 30 new varieties of grass has been accepted and appreciated by the Royal Botanic Garden, England.

His home at Mundakkal, Kollam has been named after his favourite plant, one that flowers throughout the year – ‘verbina’.  Nor does his botany connection end there.  His wife Prof. Renuka was the head of Botany Department at Sree Narayana Women’s College, Kollam.  His only daughter, Rakhi, is working in the field of Botany.

He is fond of naming newly discovered grass varieties after his teachers and places.  No wonder then that his students have named 2 plants after their beloved Prof. Ravi.

He was the leader of the 1st popular struggle to save mangrove reaches along Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam.  He withdrew Rs.50,000 from his Provident Fund account to engage a lawyer to fight the case.  At the end of that struggle which lasted from 1985 to 1990, the High Court directed the Government to protest mangroves.

Lovers of plants and researchers from other States and abroad come to ‘Verbina’,  which is always a welcome destination for the inquisitive.


Soni K.Raj, Sree, Malayala Manorama, September 1, 2002

Contributed by: Administrator


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