The Rose Garden in the foreground is part of the revival of the 16th Century Persian Garden now called Sunder Nursery undertaken by THE AGA KHAN FOUNDATION along with the celebrated HUMAYUN’S TOMB located adjacent to it.
Have written in depth about Roses in earlier blogs titled ROSES ARE RED and RED AND WHITE. Do check them out for a plethora of information on this absolutely fabulous flower.
Numerous species of Roses have been cultivated down the ages and the cultivar in the featured image has been aptly named SUPERSTAR.
These Gorgeous Superstars have an unusual hue, somewhere between a Blushing Damsel and Scarlet.( Do you recall the classic Gone with the Wind ? )
The fallen petalstake a leaf out of Reality and reveal that nothing is Immortal, not even SuperStars.
All are Super Stars
A close look unveils the multi-petaled Superstars and their undulating and enchanting colours.
The buds, half blooms and full blooms are all SuperStars.
Do keep your distance and do not Touch them as they are fragile and the delicate blooms will simply fall apart at the slightest touch.
Soak in the aroma of these SuperStars and be enchanted in this fabulous and historical Rose Garden located in the heart of New Delhi.
Waves of White Fields engulf all your senses as you drive to the calm NazarBagh Palace located near Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Herds of Sheep and Goats graze in the fields as you drive through a picturesque winding path surrounded by GOLDEN FIELDS ( do check out my blog by the same title), Gooseberry ( Amla in Hindi) Trees, Sunflowers and fields of White Flowers.
The White Flowers are none other than White Hybrids of the Calendula Daisy.The leaves are however closer to Marigolds ( do check out my blog AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS)
The photograph below showcases White Calendulas in the foreground and Yellow Mustard flowers in the background. Right at the back at tree level you can see a hazy image of the yellow blooms of the Desi Babool ( Scientific Name Acacia nilotica).
Mary’s Gold or English Marigold as the yellow flowered Calendula (English), Calendula officinalis ( Scientific Name) is called is native to Southern Europe.
The field one sees in the picture below are a hybrid or cultivar as the leaves are closer to the Marigold ( Tagetes erecta) naturalized to India and Mexico.
The flower however resembles a Daisy. That is however not in the least surprising as all the flowers named above belong the Sun Flower or Daisy familyAsteraceae.
The Calendula Flower has numerous medical applications and is used in various cosmetics as well.
A closer look reveals a Central Golden Disc whichmakes me rethink about the identity of these flowers.
The white colour of the flowers , the structure of the leaves and the predominant look of a daisy makes me wonder why I have identified them as Calendulas?
Have I made the same mistake mistake as the British did 200 years ago of thinking of Marigolds as Mary’s Gold ?
I leave the Judgement to the readers of this blog to correct me. In the meanwhile enjoy the Enchanting drive to Nazarbagh through these spectacular White Fields.
Incidentally NazarBagh means FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, the beauty is captured in ones Nazar or Eyes. Poetic is it not ?
I was fortunate to go on a fascinating drive to Nazarbagh Palace , Jaipur which took me through the amazing and aromatic Golden Fields of Marigolds or Genda Phool.
I had promised in my blog AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS( Please check it out for information on these flowers which I am not repeating in this post) that I will redeem myself by posting better photographs.
However I did not even imagine in my wildest dreams that I would visit a Field of Golden Flowers within the week itself.
Nazarbagh Palace is located a mere 20 minute drive from the center of Jaipur..
The Golden Fields as I call them are in fact a commercial plantation of Marigolds which are sought after during the Wedding Season in India.
The entire drive from the Highway to the Nazarbagh is through the awesome rural countryside of Jaipur dominated by Marigolds and Mary’s Gold ( the name for Calendulas on which I will post an article in the blog to follow) .
The picture below typifies the beautiful countryside complete with a Cottage and a Water Buffalo in the background.
A closer look at the flowers reveals various Shades of Gold. Many of them will be converted into Garlands which will adorn deities in various temples in and around the city of Jaipur.
A closer look at the Golden Flowers
The Indian Honey Bee tests the nectar of a bicoloured Genda Phool . ( Hindi for MariGold).
The Petals grow from an edible Off White Central disc which is relished by children.
As the Marigolds belongs to the Asteraceae Family it exhibits many of the unique features that are characteristic of the Sun Flower or Daisy family.
Am sure many of the regular readers of these blogs are by now familiar with these enchanting characteristics.
We have through this blog and the preceding AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS experienced various types of Marigolds or Gendas. Am hopeful you have enjoyed these flowers which find an important place in Mexico as well during the Festival of the Dead.
The area is also rich in Birdlife and highly recommended if you wish to savour the flavours and EnchantingSpells of Rural India. ( do keep a watch out for a write up on NazarbaghPalace in http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com)
Nazarbagh is a closely guarded secretive get away I was fortunate to visit and is located at a distance of about 20 kms from Statue Circle in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
A gorgeous drive through enchanting fields of Marigolds ( Gendas) and Calendulas ( do check out my blog titled AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS) leads to the secretive 12 roomed Palace , Nazarbagh.
These amazing Daisy like flowers carpet the flower beds near the curvaceous driveway leading to the main entrance of this Virgin Palace.
These eye catching Bursts of Indian Pink, Magenta and Crimson are succulent herbs native to South Africa.
Though they resemble daisies and are also commonly called Livingstone Daisy ( English) they are not genuine Daisies and do not belong to the Sunflower family either.
They however share their love for the Sun and bloom in bright Sunlight only.
The blooms close with the Setting Sun or a Cloudy Sky.
If you see the pictures above and below you will observe the stems and leaves are covered with what resembles powdered sugar or Ice ( Burf in Hindi) giving these eye candies the name Ice Plant. These are however water storing globular bladder cells which assist the Ice Plant in overcoming dry seasons.
The Livingstone Daisy, Ice Plant , Burf ( Hindi), Dorotheanthus bellidiformis( Scientific Name) belongs to the Family Aizoaceae ( Ice Plant family) The Livingstone Daisies have a synonym Mesembryanthemum criniflorum.
The picture above is of an unusual combination of yellow and crimson and a cultivar.
The Livingstone Daisies are my “Nazrana” to the charming Palace Nazarbagh.
Nazrana is an old Indian Custom from the days when Kings and Maharajas ruled over the lands of modern Rajasthan and everyone who visited the King gave a small gift or Nazrana.
These magnificent Golden Yellow blossoms at the Diggi Palace, Jaipur are a major attraction for Indian Honey Bees ( Scientific Name Apis cerana indica)
The Yellow Trumpet ( English) , Piliya ( Hindi) ,Tecoma Stans ( Scientific Name) is an over active tree as far as blossoms are concerned. The entire tree is literally cloaked in a robe of Yellow earning it the Hindi name Pilliya( which translated simply means Yellow) .
These gorgeous flowers are honoured as they are the official Floral Emblem of the Bahamas .
Do observe the large inviting mouth of the flower serves as a very effective landing pad for Indian Honey Bees.
The Pilliya was Introduced into India from the Americas and they seem to flourish in the warmth of the country.
The flowers have the undivided attention of the Indian Honey Bees and swallow them entirely as they literally go into the “Yellow Trumpets”.
All you can see is the sharp pointed Sting of the Bee ( centre bottom) in one of the flowers in the Yellow Star Burst below.
The long tubular flowers are a storehouse of nectar which tempts their pollinators the Indian Honey Bee or Asian Honey Bee to enter the tube or neck of the flower.
The Yellow Trumpet flower, Tecoma stans belongs to the Jacaranda FamilyBegoniaceae.
The unique characteristic of the family are the tubular flowers and the “Bean likeFruits” turning Dark Brown like wood. Can you imagine it belongs to the same family as the Lavender coloured Jacaranda which is also a prolific flowering tree during the Summers in New Delhi.
Top view of the Glistening Wings and the Buds
The Yellow trumpet flowers are also called Yellow Bells as the heavy inflorescence compels the branches to droop with their weight.
Successful pollination results in the fruits being formed which resemble long and slender beans. This particular tree with the fruits was relatively large at 7 m or 21 feet.
The species with the fruits looks like ( am not certain ) another sub species Tecoma stans angustata . The leaves are narrow and slender compared to the leaves in the picture above and this is the key distinguishing factor of the sub species.
The fruits are supposed to be hanging but “WordPress” likes to turn aroundthe pictures.
The Green Bean like fruits
I hope the story, poetry and romance of the bees and flowers entertains the gallery besides keeping them informed of the Enchanting Forests that encompass us.
Hanuman Langur, Grey Langur (English) , Langur ( Hindi), Semnopithicus dussumieri ( Scientific name) are a delight for any photographer and can be seen across the Indian Subcontinent.
There are hundreds and thousands of Indian folktales which reveal the intellect and prowess of these extremely enchanting Monkeys.
Hanuman the Monkey God is revered through out the Indian Subcontinent and there are millions of mythological stories which speak of his ingenuity and ability to overcome obstacles.
The humane body language and antics of Langurs are extremely fascinating.
I had a fabulous day taking pictures of a group of Grey Langurs at the Mandor Gardens near Jodhpur , Rajasthan, India( do check two blogs MANIFICENT MANDOR and THE MANDOR LOTUSES at http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com )
Apparently there are seven species of Langurs in the Genus Semnopithicus and all inhabit the Indian Subcontinent.
I have seen the Himalayan Langur, which is much larger with a thicker fur.
This Langur wished to cross to the other side of a water channel that divides the Mandore Gardens into two parts and was photographed assessing the terrain on two legs. See the way it grasps the metallic fence and stands in a Orwellian fashion on “two legs”.
For some reason, maybe because of their larger size, The Grey Langursscare the Rhesus Macaque ( Red faced Monkeys). They are thus increasingly used in Indian Cities like New Delhi to drive away groups of the Rhesus Macaque Monkeys.
WordPress has played tricks with this photograph as it shows the Langur jumping up whereas in fact it was jumping off a tree and was caught in flight by my camera.
The way the tail is absolutely straight is worth noting.
Showing scant respect to the cameraman this Langur saunters off showing me its rear. The lovely silvery fur glistens in the sunlight.
The manner in which the tail is held clearly indicates the species and differentiates it from those that inhabit Southern India and Sri Lanka.
The photograph is interesting as it looks as though the Black faced Monkey is balancing on ONE LEG alone. An artist in the backgroundis busy sketching the ancient Cenotaphs at the Mandore Gardens.
In a previous blog a fellow Blogger has requested me not to mention facts but pen a story as well. The fact is however the stories lie in the facts themselves.
The tales are in the Tail my friends.
I am simply peeling the Orange, it is for you to savour the fruits.However in due reverence to my readers am not revealing many facts in this blog.
These attractive Red Powder Puffs are a beautiful asset to any Garden and are virtual Magnets to both Butterflies and Sunbirds.
The Central Axis leading up to the 16th Century Sunder Burj of the Sunder Nursery, New Delhi. is lined with these gorgeous Scarlet Powder Puffs.
Initially I thought they were flowers of The Persian Silk Tree as the Sunder Nursery is modeled after 16th century Persian Gardens.
Sunder means Beautiful in Hindi/Urdu.
The silky stamens tipped with pollen are fused together at the base giving the Inflorescence the attractive look resembling a Powder Puff.
The Powder Puff/ Fairy Duster / Red Tassle Flower ( English) or Calliandra Haematocephala ( Scientific Name) belongs to the Touch Me Not sub family Mimosaceae .
The extremely appropriate scientific name of the Genus Calliandra means “beautiful stamens” in Greek and the species Haematocephala translates to “blood-red head “.
The attractive buds of the Powder Puffs .in the picture below, resemble a cluster of red berries with the largest cluster carrying the beautiful blood-red head formed by silken stamens.
The “Touch me Not” family Mimosaceae has a unique characteristic, the leaves fold up on certain external stimuli like touch or light. Thedelicate leaves ofthe Powder Puff Shrubs/Trees do fold up with the Setting Sun as well.
The picture below reveals the three stages of the attractive Scarlet Powder Puffs ;Berry like Buds , Scarlet Powder Puffs and Wilted Brown mops.
Unlike the first picture which was of a Shrub about 1.5 m ( 5 feet approx) high, the flowers below were on a large tree about 5 m ( 15 feet ) high.
I understand the smaller Shrubs are called Dwarf Powder Puffs( English) or Calliandra emarginata ( Scientific name).
The Pea like Fruit emerges from the Wilted flower like a Phoenix from Ashes.
The fruit of the silken Powder Puffs clearly reflect they belong to the large Pea Family Fabaceae of which the Touch- me- Nots , Mimosaceae are a sub family.
Once you are familiar with the characteristics of Families you will find it relatively easier to identify flowers as well.
It is my attempt therefore to highlight a unique aspect alongwith THE FAMILY of every flower in these blogs.
I have learnt in the course of writing this blog that the Genus Calliandra or Beautiful Stamens have over 150 species. The majority are native to Central and South America where they are much sought after by Hummingbirds.
A Pink Powder Puff native to Suriname in South America is called Calliandra surinamensis.
However a few species are Native to the Indian Sub Continent and Madagascar as well.
Do share your comments and pictures of these Enchanting Powder Puffs or Fairy Puffs that grow in your part of Planet Earth.
Buds of Red Roses as seen in the featured image have always symbolized the Ultimate in Love.
The pictures that follow are Roses in Bloom and were taken at the Sunder Nursery at New Delhi. The Sunder Nursery now represents an Indo- Persian Garden of the 16th century and is located right next to the Humayuns Tomb.
With no information and few words in this blog ( do check out my blog ROSES ARE RED) I leave you with the aroma and beauty of these lovely BLOOMS.
White roses in contrast are equally beautiful but have never represented Love. For me they symbolize Tranquility and Peace.
The red stemmed leaves are lovely as well .
The Gorgeous Pink Rose is a mixture of the colours Red and White . The blushing pink Rose attempts to hide under the cover of red stemmed leaves.
Do read between the lines as well , as Nature speaks volumes even while it enchants us.