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Petals in the wild

From taxes to thistles

Former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Prakash Dubey, will go to practically any lengths for his passion. Photography has always been his hobby and with Indian Wildflowers, he has also highlighted flowers which are endangered. Thus the book serves a wider purpose.


Himalayan Lantern: The richly-coloured flowers of Agapetes serpens develop into equally striking-looking lavender-coloured berries

Explaining some of the situations that the camera took him into, Mr Dubey said, “The Globe Thistle was photographed a few months before the Kargil War. I was travelling by road from Leh to Srinagar. In Kargil I asked the District Magistrate to give me permission to travel during the day.


Globe Thistle: Echinops cornigerus

Vehicles were allowed on that stretch only at 3am under heavy army security cover. He was a young officer, and considering my seniority, he could not refuse. After half an hour’s drive I realized that we were sitting ducks for the Pakistan army, and my driver was literally trembling.


Daisy Fleabane: The pretty Erigeron annuus is considered a weed, but has diuretic properties and is useful in the treatment of kidney stones

There were burnt vehicles all along the road which had been hit by heavy shelling. It was a huge risk and I can never forget this flower.” Besides Indian Wildflowers, other titles to Mr Dubey’s credit include The Mahakumbh at Prayag, India: Images of Nature, and Birds of India. His work has been published extensively and he has won several awards.


Roof Iris: The attractive Iris tectorum also grows on walls


Sweet Pea: Lathyrus odoratus nice to look at, good to eat


Blue Poppy: Meconopsis aculeata, delicate blooms that echo the Himalayan skies


Bladder Campion: The leaves of Silene vulgaris are edible


Showy Spider Flower: Cleome speciosa lives up to its name


Hairy Hogweed.: Pimpinella tomentosa, also known in Marathi as raanjire


Indian Angel Balsam: Impatiens latiflora is a shy and retiring sort


Fringed Iris: Iris japonica is also common in China and Japan

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