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Notes from Garden and Life

  • Writer's picturesubhashini

A symphony of flowers

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Did you know Bangalore has a diverse collection of trees that bloom all year? When the city was planned aeons ago, the trees were chosen in such a way that when one tree ceased blooming, another tree took its place. Bangalore's seasons are a floral symphony. Even during the rainiest months, there is a tree in Bangalore adorned with blossoms. Apart from seasonal trees, there are perennial trees that blossom all year, filling in the tiny gaps in the flowering season. Bangalore's air is always fragrant, hence its moniker “The Garden City." I'm sure your friends and social media circle were abuzz with pictures of the pink Tabebuia Rosea flowers over the last month. These eye-catching blooms have been dubbed the Bangalore’s Cherry Blossom. Aside from the pink Tabebuias, there are also the beautiful yellow Tabebuia Argentea, which is another show stopper.

The city's purple blue jacaranda blooms are a shade darker compared to those in other cities. Despite the fact that there aren't many of these trees, the sudden appearance of these flowers on the lane adds to the visual impact.

Bangalore is also showered with the flowers of Mango, Neem, Mahogany, Honge mara(Pongamia), False Ashoka Tree (Polyalthia Longifolia), Jarul/Pride of India (lagerstroemia speciosa), Umbrella or Octopus tree(Schefflera actinophylla), silk cotton (Bombax Ceiba), Rain tree (albizia saman) during the first three months of the year. When the flowering season concludes, there is a burst of yellow from the copper pods (Peltophorum pterocarpum) until September.

April, May, June and July belongs to Delonix Regia, the Gulmohar tree. Clusters of red flowers crown the trees and gives a red carpet welcome to the monsoon rain. The Kenjige or Ratnagandhi (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) with its multitudes of colors bloom in this season through July. The Sausage tree, Kigelia Pinata, drops the tired flowers to the floor early in the morning, while the white and deep red Plumerias never slumber.

In August, when summer has faded, the scent of Sampige (Magnolia Champaca) takes over. In September and October, Akasha mallige (Millingtonia Hortenesis) competes by cleansing the morning moist air with its sweet scent. The orangish crimson blooms of the African tulip, Neeru kaayi (Spathodea campanulata), begin to bloom in August and continue until December.

November brings back another stunning variety of Tabebuia. Tabebuia impetiginosa sheds its leaves, revealing clusters of deep pink blooms. Many of these trees can be found in Cubbon Park and the surrounding areas, and they really stand out in the winter. Around this time, some Jacarandas tend to bloom. The leaves of the almond tree (Terminalia catappa) turn reddish pink, then yellow, lending drama to the cold season.

The city's Perennial flowering trees include Nagalinga flower (Couroupita Guianensis), Nile Tulip tree( golden blooms with wavy seedpods), Portia tree, and the orange Geiger flowers. The pattern continues into the next year, and the trees that have withstood the test of time continue to bloom. These are some of Bangalore's most prevalent avenue trees. Some of the trees that can be added to the list are

Cadamba(Neolamarckia Cadamba) Flowering season- October-June

Gasgase mara, (Muntingia Calabura) Flowering season- Feb- October

Badminton ball (Parkia Biglandulosa)- Flowering season- Oct-Dec

Dinner Plate tree (Pterospermum Acerifolium)Flowering season- Feb-Mar

It is a joy when residents enjoy the city's flora and fauna and talk about it on social media. That is exactly what the finest horticulturists desired. The horticulturists Cameron, Krumbigel, Javaraya, Mari Gowda and especially S G Neginhal designed this metropolis to be fragrant and colorful. As the Greek proverb goes, "A society grows great when old men plant trees in the shade of which they may never sit." They planted trees in the hope that they would be protected and honored. You might be shocked to learn that many people who have lived here for a long time are unaware of the trees in their neighborhood. The act of writing about local trees raises consciousness. And raising awareness helps to safeguard the trees. While you may dislike this city, despise its people, curse its traffic, or even sneer at the sweet sambhar, I assure you there is always an eye-catching flower that will make you fall in love with Bangalore. I’ll bet you.

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