The Lower Himalayas from Sikkim till Uttrakhand are covered in a cloak of Pink immediately after the lofty mountains are touched by the first drizzle brought forth by the Monsoons.
The Pink Rain Lily , Storm Lily , Rose Fairy Lily (English) , Zephyranthes rosea( scientific name) bloom into vast stretches of Pink as the first rain drops touch the topsoil of The Himalayas.
The following picture of a hillside covered with Pink flowers was taken in Kalimpong, West Bengal,India.
A close cousin the Zephyranthes candida ( also called Rain Lily in English ) was seen by me in Pune and extensively covered in a previous blog titled “SIX POINTED STAR”. The dexterous labeling by the Gardners of The Corinithian Resort & Club, Pune helped me discover the botanical name of these Pink Lilies.
However besides the difference in colour the Pink Rain Lilies on the Himalayas you see in the pictures here were growing in the wild in free abandon and in vast numbers carpeting the Hills in Pink.
The Pink Rain Lily like their close cousin The Six Pointed Star belongs to the Amarylis Lily familyAmaryllidaceae.
These Beautiful Pink Flowers however hide a deep and dark secret in their bulbs which are hidden in the soil from which they spring forth as they contain deadly toxic alkaloids.
The alkaloids lycorine and haemanthamine present in the bulbs can cause severe vomiting and convulsions and even lead to death .
If you read earlier blogs you will realize that many deadly toxins exist in their natural Form in Plants, yet these very toxins when used by professionals are converted into medicines and cure many ailments which affect us Humans.
After over a year of blogging and learning I am increasingly Enchanted by the numerous forms and ways of Wonderful Nature.
I must admit it was these Large Seed Pods which resembled Alien Space Ships that attracted me to this Solitary Vine near Bhuleshwar Village ( near Pune), Maharashtra , India.( there are several blogs on this region including the last one titled TEMPLE “TWEETS” and ULRAMARINE BLUE )
On drawing closer they jostled a memory cell and I recalled seeing these Purple VioletFlowers first near Rao Jodha Park, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur , Rajasthan, India almost a year ago. ( Do read a previous blog titled GOLDEN GRASS which introduces the Rocky Deserts of Rajasthan)
The Indian Rubber Vine ( English) , Cryptostegia grandiflora ( Scientific Name)though often seen in India has it’s origins in the African Island of Madagascar .
The English name of Rubber Vine orRubber Bel in Hindi is derived from the fact that it secretes a Milky sap which is the basis of a Rubbery Latex.
The flowers resemble the Purple Allamanda ( Origin in North America) which also belongs to the Oleander Family, Apocynaceae much like the Indian Rubber Vine.
The Rubber Vine like most family members of the Oleander Family bear highly poisonous toxins.
The Leaves contain cardiac glucosides which can cause severe poisoning leading to death if ingested in large quantities. The Milky Sap exuded by the Leaves, Stem and the Seed Pod can cause dermatitis and trigger off various allergies. ( do read a blog titled ” BLEEDING TREES “ which showcases how Natural Rubber is tapped in Kerala, Southern India)
Despite the rather frightening details mentioned above the Indian Rubber Vine has been used by Traditional Medicine in various countries across the world.
Another interesting feature of these hardy Shrubs or Vines is that they have extremely Deep Roots which can extend to over 13 metres ( 39 feet ) below the ground making them very sturdy survivors.
I have mentioned previous blogs so can relish the intertwining of various subjects and be Enchanted by the Marvels of Nature.
The Bhuleshwar Temple near Pune,Maharashtra, India is Embalmed by the Magic of Nature besides being a visual delight and an Architectural Marvel.
Nature and Mythology go hand in hand and this Wonderful Temple covered in various previous posts ATOP A HILL, DIVINE SHADOWS, FRAGRANT FIELDS,MAGICAL & MYSTERIOUS and PROOF in BLACK stands testimony to underline this aspect which I have attempted to Highlight repeatedly.
The Splendorous Floral Dome of the Bhuleshwar Temple which stands ATOP a HILL.
Sparrows and Parakeets flitted in and out of the this temple which Opens into a courtyard after engaging a serious of Pitch Dark Alleys and discrete doorways.
The following picture was taken from this courtyard within the temple as I doubled backwards during which my lens captured a Pair of Sparrows ( Scientific name :Passer domesticus )perched on the Head of the Vehicle of the Goddess.
Here is a better look at the Romantic Couple under the gaze of the Goddess on her vehicle , A Swan.
You can see the elaborate Floral details on every inch of this beautiful temple.
Mrs Sparrow decided to give me and the lens a look and perched herself directly above my head and this picture is shared in the featured image on Top.
I was delighted and Enchanted of course by the details I saw courtesy the Sparrows which I may have missed without their guidance.
It is rare to see The Cannon Ball Tree in India , but I was fortunate not only to see the Fruits, the Massive Cannon Balls , but the very pretty and Enchanting Pink Blossoms as well. ( do see the previous blogs titled CANNON BALLS)
The Tree Trunk is engulfed by Blooms from Head to Toe.
” In sharp contrast to The Fruits which are Dull Brown , the buds and Flowers are a Lovely Shade of Rosy Pink mixed with White.
The Large attractive and fragrant blossoms of The Cannon Ball ( English) tree, Couroupita guianensis ( scientific name) which literally encapsulate the entire length of the tree trunk make this a Gorgeous Ornamental tree when in bloom.”
Cascades of Buds
A Soft picture of the Lovely Pink Flower along with Buds in very stages.
I had only heard of this remarkable tree and was overwhelmed when I saw these amazing Cannon Balls hanging from a tree in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Spotted at the entrance of the Sathya Sai Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore.
“As promised am Updating with missing details on the Fascinating CANNON BALL Tree which hails from the Amazonian rain forests of South America.”
I simply cannot digest this Enchantment alone and thus sharing the picture without the usual details and some interesting snippets. For that kindly wait for a week when I am back on my desk at Home.
“The Cannon Ball tree ( English), Couroupita gueanensis ( Scientific name) bears large brown Cannon Ball like fruits which create a thunderous sound like a cannon being fired when they crash to the ground.
These Large trees ironically line the Footpath along the frontage of a Hospital in…
Karanataka is a Large South Indian State which is home to a large number of Enormous and fascinating Tamarind ( English) Trees, Imli ( Hindi), Tamarindus indica.
The English and Botanical name Tamarind has it’s origins in Arabic and literally translates to “Dates of Hind” ( tamar-e-hind) ( India is referred to as Hind in the Arab World) .
Despite the certification by Botanists, it is interesting to note that the Tamarind Tree actually has its origins in the African Continent and not the Indian subcontinent.
The following picture was taken outside the Sriranganathaswamy temple, in the historical capital city of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatnam.
It is interesting to learn that the Tamarindus indica belongs to the Pea family Fabaceae. ( see the fruits and see the resemblance)
All the trees near Bangalore were laden with the leguminous fruits which form an integral part of South Indian cuisine.
The Tamarind trees are very large and grow to over 30 metres or 100 feet in this region. The following picture is of a tree which towers over a Siva Cave temple on the Chandi Hills and seems to touch the clouds above.
The Bean Like Brown fruits called Tamarind in English or Imli in Hindi are a rich source of Amino acids, Vitamin C and Tartaric Acid and form the base of many curries and chutneys in Indian cuisine.
This fruit laden tree was spotted on the banks of the Kaveri River, the waters of which are the basis of many controversies in recent times.
The Fruits are extremely sour and are used to make many delicious sweet and sour candies as well.
The entire Imli Tree; fruits, seeds , leaves and bark have innumerable Medical applications which I am not attempting to enlist.
Next time you are in this region do look up and you could be Enchanted by the small and pretty Pink & White flowers as well.
It is common to identify a plant by it’s flowers , botanists classify Flora based on their flowers.
However the Golden Psuederanthemum or Yellow-Vein Eranthemum is known by it’s splendorous variegatedGolden Leaves.
Of special mention are the distinctive yellow veins you can see in the picture below which become increasingly prominent as the leaves mature into shades of golden green.
The Psuederanthemum reticulatum ( Scientific name) owes it’s origin to the Pacific Islands of Polynesia and was spotted by me in the well labeled gardens of The Corinthian Resort & Club in Pune, Maharasthra, India.
Though overshadowed in name and looks by their majestic Designer Golden Leaves, the speckled white flowers do strive for attention as well.
On a closer look the four petaled flowers ( actually five petals I learnt as two petals have fused into one ) with a splash of colour are indeed interesting as well.
These plants make an attractive Golden Hedge or boundary but the White Flowers were definitely not a favourite with the Indian Honey Bees. ( do read a previous blog titled ULTRAMARINE BLUE to see where the Bees flocked)
The Golden Net-Bush as it is also commonly called belongs to the family Acanthaceae and flourishes in the Sun.
Enchanting how plants evolve and spread across our Planet Earth.