Thursday, March 1, 2007


Ok so words in Tamil and English don't exactly mean the same all the time, but who cares, cos it’s bloom time in Bangytown again! My favourite time of the year, when the excitement of an oncoming summer mingles with the joys of a flower laden spring. And boy, are those trees flower laden these days! Everytime I pass the copse of golden Tabebuias at the cauvery circle, a big yellow hand reaches out from them and slaps me in my face. Aside from the mysore turmeric factory, they are definitely the yellowest sight Ive seen in my life. And thanks to the good doctor Neginhal who planted a huge bunch of them in the 80s, Beansville now has a lot of people looking like they’ve been slapped in the face by a brilliantly yellow tree at the end of February. In contrast, the delicate blossoms of the Jacaranda are cooling, inspirational, and well, purple. Paint them together in a picture and I’ll bet your drawing Miss will chide you for being unrealistic. Just send her to the nearest Tabebuia for a good slapping and she’ll come back a changed woman.

Neginhal was one of few horticulturists who actually had a vision for the tree cover of Bangalore. He managed to ensure that at least one species was in bloom at any point of the year. Flowering trees unfortunately aren’t very hardy, which is why you shouldn’t park under them in the monsoon. But for the rest of the year, aren’t you glad they are around?

Here are some spots with breathtaking views of some of my favourite trees in Bangalore:

The Pink Tabebuia (Dec- Jan) – Pink, pink pink. Uff, what a! For me, they are synonymous with Christmas in Bangalore. The best collection of these beauties is in the Cubbon Park looking towards the Vidhana Sauda from the Central Library.

The Yellow Tabebuia (Feb) – Riotously yellow, they are a traffic hazard in February because of their breathtaking beauty. One of the best pure stands of this Argentinian wonder is at the Cauvery Circle in Guttahalli.

Jacaranda (Feb-Mar): Delicately beautiful, this tree carpets roads and yards all over town with fragile purple flowers. One of the most ethereal sights to see every march or so. Cubbon Park as usual has a prize collection, apart from houses all around town.

Cassia (Mar-Apr): delicately pink and loverly loverly, this summer bloomer is best viewed at Edward V’s statue in Cubbon Park. Lucky dude got all the nice trees.

Gul Mohur (May-Jun): Synonymous with summer and mommie dearest’s birthday, this is definitely one of my favourites. Happy happy memories of my brother and I atop my grandmother’s huge Gulmohur, making fake nails with the calyxes of the flowers, and having sword fights with the huge flat seed pods. Best viewed at IISc, Bangalore.

The Cream Tabebuia (Jun): Lovely pinky-cream flowers, though not as riotously abundant as its other cousins. Edward V’s statue on the Chinnaswamy stadium road has a lovely specimen.

The Indian Laburnum (Jul-Aug): A madly yellow tree, has coin shaped sprays cascading down from short delicate branches. A sight for sore eyes. Sore eyes after this sight too! Not as frequently found in Bangalore as in Kerala, but there are a couple of beautiful specimens in lalbagh and Cubbon park

The Peacock Tree (Or pride of India) (Aug-Sep): Gorgeous fat red blooms nestled in a sea of dark green. A bird paradise, and a wonderful sight at Dasara

The Cork Tree (Oct-Nov) : A tall, tall tree where kites and vultures roost, that casts a fragrant carpet of white tube-shaped flowers on the ground. Best viewed on Sankey road near palace cross.


Biby Cletus said...

very nice artcle gave me a idea about lot of plant what i was loking out for good work keep it up be in touch

regards Biby - Blog

comment_raja said...

very informative pa.

gul mohur used to be my favourite growing up. my school used to be filled with that ... all the time it feels like.

god, i cant believe next year will be my 10 year anniversary since graduating high school.

i will leave everyone with a thought. olden is golden. wine is old. there.

Bikerdude said...

Oh yeah youre right comment_raja ;)
Your school bursts into flames every may and again in December with the Pink tabebuias. I remember seeing them in their full glory once and was bowled over.

Old is Bowled.

Bikerdude said...

Thanks Biby! I spent most of my childhood in kerala so Im quite familiar with the trees there too. Im especially fond of the laburnum (Vishukkani) that blooms in profusion during the Chittira month.

RustyNeurons said...

Yellow Tabebuias! If there is anything that makes me smile on a monday morning,it is the sight of those sunshine bunches in Guttahalli..

Bikerdude said...

You bet, rustyneurons. Superglorious sight indeed! Some seriously inspired planting there.

RustyNeurons said...

Hey forgot to mention the most important thing - the pictures are a real treat! I presume its your handiwork?

Bikerdude said...

Blush.. I actually hyperlinked them from websites that I googled the tree names for. Thanks again though rustyneurons. I saw your blog too- pretty neat!

nigel said...

Biker Dude: Alfred the Tennyson said: In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Are you in luhrv? Nigel

p said...

Saar nim blogu yesht ishta aiytho, heLakkeaagalla. Mind-blashtingu neev heLodhella, biddhu biddhu nakkeedhini. As a kid brought up in Basavanagudi, some of those posts on relative types at weddings, Gatti-kal (Barey 'kal' alla) Coffee Works, snooty-jhooties in Ranga Shankara and this one - on some of the flowering trees i was taught to recognise as a little girl: increasingly threatened but for the moment still safe in some pockets of the city - really struck home. Dhaivitt heege barithayiri, thirga thirga odadru yen bejaaragalla!

Ferdi Nel said...

Lovely article, and I love the pictures.

Your description of the tabebuia is giving me inspiration for a new garden layout I'm planning.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Bangalore 2 months ago and have been trying to google the names of these trees and flowers since! Good work putting it all in one place dude!

Mikka nandri! i was sure the lavendar flowers were Jacaranda but had to be positive! Must say, your sense of humour is tops...helps that i am Tamil blog more, see 4 years hence and we still find it. said...

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