Public gardens are incomplete without this plant. Allamanda is a very attractive plant that catches your eye instantly and becomes a center of attraction in any garden. Allamanda is a native of South and Central America. The genus name Allamanda is derived from the 18th century Swiss botanist, Frédéric-Louis Allamand.
This plant is evergreen, woody and blooms in abundance throughout the year. Allamanda grows to a height of 2 meters and above. There are 12 species of Allamanda and some of them are semi-creepers.
The botanical name of Datura is Datura innoxia and belongs to the family Solanaceae.
The other common names are Horn of Plenty, Downy Thorn Apple, Safed Dhatura (Hindi).
Datura is a herbaceous, woody, perennial shrub with erect flowers and grows wild in South India. They grow to a height of 3 feet.
I spotted this orchid in Kavadi Kere and research led me to the name Orchid Pholidota Imbricata. I collected two bulbs of this orchid from the aracanut/betel nut garden maintained by the temple. As I had seen the pictures of the bloom, I waited impatiently for the plant to bloom so that I could take pictures and write about it.
I call Marigolds “Happiness flowers” as they are the happiness quotient in a garden.
The botanical name of Marigold is Tagetes erecta and belongs to family Asteraceae. There are 56 species of this annual plant and is grown all over the world. The other common names are French Marigold, African/American Marigold, Tall Marigold (species: Tagetes), Pot Marigold (Species: Calendula), Sthulapushpa (Sanskrit), Genda Phool (Hindi), Chandu Hoovu (Kannada), Mary’s Gold.
The plant grows to a height of 3 – 6 feet. The leaves are green and pinnate with a musky smell. The flowers are golden yellow, orange, yellow-brown, and maroon-yellow. Marigold flower usually blooms to 6 cm in diameter.
Pagoda flower has a beautiful Tamil name Krishna Kireedam meaning the crown of Lord Krishna. The name is very apt for this flower.
Pagoda flower botanical name is Clerodendrum paniculatum and belongs to Verbenaceae family. This grows like a weed in most parts of the Western ghats adding color and attracting the beautiful giant butterflies. Pagaoda flower plant is a native of Sri Lanka, Malayasia and southeaster Asia. I have seen these plants in bloom in Varadahalli, Kavadi Kere, Kodachadri, Goa and so on.
This plant is an evergreen shrub with branches. Pagoda plant grows to a maximum of 5 feet tall. The leaves are large and heart shaped. Leaves width can be up to 12 inches across.
The state tree of Goa is Crocodile Bark Tree belonging to family Combretaceae*. Botanical name of the tree is Terminalia Elliptica. The name is thus derived because the bark of the tree resembles crocodile skin. The other common names are Matti in Kannada, Asna, Saj and Indian-Laurel, ha…ha..then, which tree is the Indian-Hardy?? hmm…mm….it must be the Banyan Tree!
During Sankashta Ganapathy pooja, I remember collecting the flower and leaves of Thumbe Hoovu growing in empty sites for my parents. Later I used to collect them for Mauna Gowri Pooja. Many people look down upon rituals and pooja, but I thank these for igniting my quest to know more about the flowering plants and leaves.
Botanical name of Common Leucas is Leucas aspera / Leucas indica and belongs to Lamiaceae family. Mint also belongs to the same family. In Hindi it is known as Chhota Halkusa, in Kannada it is known as Thumbe Hoovu, and in Sanskrit it is known as Dronapushpi.
The plant is always filled with busy black Ants, which seem to savor the nectar of the flowers.
I remember collecting the fallen Bakula flowers with the scent intact and stringing it together into a garland. The tree was planted by my grandfather, whose hobby was to grow exotic trees and plants in a plot reserved for his hobby. Though the color of Bakula flowers is subdued, the garland looks lovely. The scent makes up for the lack of color.
The botanical name of Bakula is Mimusops Elengi and belongs to the family Sapotaceae. It is also known as Spanish cherry, Bullet wood, Indian Medlar, Surabhi / fragrant, Maulsari, and Madhu Gandha / sweet aroma. I was delighted to find this tree in full bloom in Jag Mandir Palace, Udaipur.