This tree blooms during February and covers the landscape red thus deriving the other name Flame of the Forest.
Botanical name of Palash tree is Butea monosperma belonging to family Fabaceae. When the tree blooms, it is ushering of spring from people in Bengal. Palash thrives in tropical and sub-tropical regions and grows across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South East Asia.
Other names are Palash, Dhak, Bastard Teak, and Parrot Tree.
Palash is deciduous and grows slowly to a height of 15 m – 20 m. The leaves are leathery and big and can grow upto 16 cm in width.
The flowers bloom in racemes and are bright Orange-Red. Flowers have five petals and they look like a big claw turned towards the sky and each flower is 2.5 cm long. Fruit pod is 15 – 20 cm long.
Palash flower is the state flower of Uttar Pradesh.
Used for timber, resin, fodder, medicine, and dye. The gum from the tree, called Kamarkas in Hindi, is used in certain food dishes. Charcoal is derived from the wood of this tree.
The bright flowers are very apt in preparing Holi color. The leaves of the tree are stitched together to make a leaf plate. These plates are extensively used to serve festive food at large gatherings.
Flowers are used to worship Saraswathi on Basant Panchami in Bengal and in Andhra Pradesh they are used to worship Lord Shiva on Shivaratri. In Kerala the wood of this tree is used for fire rituals.
White browed Bulbul:
Red Vented Bulbul: