Department of Botany offers free consultancy and plant identification under Botanical Information Service (BIS), as a part of the extension activity of the College.  It provides herbarium consultation, flowering plant identification, fodder/forage/weed identification including grasses & sedges and general information on plants free of charge to the general public and to government departments and ecological consultancies. The voucher specimens from individuals/institutions are received as gifts and they are deposited in the Herbarium of Sree Narayana College Kollam (SNCH) instead of fees for consultation.

Officer-In-charge: Dr Kiranraj MS, Assistant Professor in Botany


Name: Barringtonia asiatica (L.) Kurz  ‘Fish poison tree‘


Notes:  This interesting tree was planted at Botanical Garden of Sree Narayana College, Kollam (BGSNCK) in1978, from the live collection of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. All parts of this species are poisonous, due to the presence of saponins. Its characteristic ‘box’ fruits are potent enough to be used as a fish poison. The seeds are ground to a powder and used to stun or kill fish for easy capture, suffocating the fish while the flesh is unaffected. The tree is considered a ‘flag species ‘of BGSNCK. See more details at Hortus Keralae


Resources available at BIS

  1. An authenticated herbarium (SNCH), housed with 5035 specimens under 104 families and 978 genera belonging to 2037 species, arranged in accordance with Bentham & Hooker system.  A complete set of herbarium specimens from two district floras (Kollam & Pathanamthitta) were properly documented and managed at the Herbarium. The voucher specimens of internal as well as external botanical studies are depositing periodically at SNCH.
  1. A Stereomicroscope with Image Projection System for plant identification purposes.
  1. Authenticated Taxonomic literature and reference materials, including regional floras and manuals (Flora of Sree Narayana Collge Kollam, Flora of Alappuzha Dist., Pathanamthitta Dist., Common sedges and grasses of Indian subcontinent etc), Checklists on Kerala Flora (Sasidharan, 2004 & Nayar et al, 2006) etc.
  1. Subscribed Taxon, the journal of  International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), Systematic Botany, international journal for the Americal Society for Plant taxonomists (ASPT), Rheedea, the journal for Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy (IAAT) & Current Science, the interdisciplinary science journal from the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS). The hard copies of selected issues of the journals are now available at BIS.
  1. BIS Reports (from 2016 onwards), including 4 reports of the Botanical Survey Series (2011-2016), is periodically published from Botanical Information Service (BIS) & Herbarium of SNCK
  1. An associated Botanical Garden (BGSNCK), which harbours various rare trees, medicinal & exotic plant species. The present checklist consists 193 species of vascular plants, which includes 174 angiosperms, 5 pteridophytes & 2 gymnosperms.  The majority of the plants, especially woody plants, are digitally tagged with QR code, based on the current botanical nomenclature system. See the updated checklist at BIS Report (June 2020)
  2. Service of Herbarium Keeper every day from 10 am-3 pm IST (Monday-Friday)
  3.  A weblog on biodiversity with special reference to Botanical Information has been successfully maintained and updated periodically (URL:
  4. An exclusive telegram channel – Hortus Keralae – started during the Covid-19 pandemic period, which aims at documenting the rare flowering plant of Kerala and supports the online activities of BIS (URL: https//


Plant Name: Dolichandra unguis-cati (L.) Miers. (syn. Bignonia unguis-cati) “Cats’ claw” vine


Note: It is a curious heat living climber, blooms at BGSNCK in Jan 2020, climbs with the help of ‘cat-claw’ like tendrils into the top of the trees and rarely blooms in its lifecycle. This specimen is usually given for anomalous secondary thickening practical classes under UG & PG programmes. See more details at Hortus Keralae



By Published On: March 26th, 2020Categories: Botany Department Activities

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