These gorgeous chandeliers of the desert are the flowers of the Sickle Bush ( English).
Called Khairi in Hindi and carrying a tongue twister of a scientific name Dichrostachys cinerea they are gradually replacing the invasive Vilayti keekar ( Prosposis Juliflora) in Rao Jodha Park in Jodhpur.
The sterile flowers change from pink ( see featured image) to white ( see pic below) as the flower ages.
The Sickle bush is a short stunted tree or bush belonging to the Touch- me-not (Mimosaceae) family .
Fertile flowers make up the yellow head of these Chinese Lanterns, whereas the pink rear are the sterile flowers. The collective presence of two kinds of flowers gives it the generic name Dichrostachys.
The short stunted tree/bush with small leaves is perfectly adapted to the warm, dry and rocky landscape of the Rao Jodha Park surrounding the Mehrangarh Fort .
The tree is native to the Indian sub continent.
The name Sickle Bush is derived from the fruit which is curved much like a sickle.
The fruits are happily eaten by herbivores like cattle.
The Sickle Bush or Viradru in Sanskrit has been used in the traditional Indian school of medicine Ayurveda to cure a vast range of ailments from toothaches to syphilis.
The roots are a remedy for stings , bites and diseases of the skin like eczema.
This beautiful flowing bush is Natures pharmacy in the heart of the desert..