Again our car screeched to a halt while coming back from Hogenakkal waterfalls hearing me exclaim over something that I spotted.
The others in the car expected a wild animal or an exotic bird, but were a bit disappointed that my call for stopping was for a flowering tree. But when they looked at the tree at close quarters, they were also caught up in the excitement of spotting a White Gulmohar tree in bloom.
The other common name is White Poinciana. Botanical name is Delonix elata and belongs to Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar) family.
White Gulmohar tree is known as Waykaran, Samrsro, Sanesro, Sandeshra in Hindi, Kempukenjiga, Nirangi, Vatanarayana in Kannada, and Siddhesvara in Sanskrit. The tree deserves these lyrical names.
The tree grows to a height of 10 meters tall. The bark is grey and the double-compound leaves are 20 cms long.
Flowers bloom at the end of the branches. The flowers are white in the beginning and turns to yellow after sometime. The striking feature of the flowers is the long stamens. The stamens are hairy around 5 – 10 cms long.
The seed pods of White Gulmohar tree are 20 cms long with 4 to 8 seeds. A little different from its sibling the Red Gulmohar, white Gulmohar is rare and a treat to the eye.