As soon as the winter went away and yielded its place to Spring season, the nature which has been lying dormant, has put up the best show in the form of flowers of all colors. In fact, there is a riot of colors. Plants, shrubs and trees, none of them wants to be left behind in bearing beautiful flowers and contribute to the show. Flowers of contrasting colors, shapes and sizes. The trees flower slowly and till late when here in India till the sweltering Summer sets in.
One thing, I noticed about the pattern of blooming was that trees tried to put up the Show not simultaneously but with time gaps. This is akin to fashion show in which the models occupy the ramp one after the other to show their assets. The reason may be that they wanted to keep us in pleasant mood for longer time by keeping the aesthetics of the surroundings. Another reason may be that they might be avoiding competition to avoid comparisons beholders draw because they (trees) may be aware of the adage “comparisons are odious!”.
So, first of all came beautiful golden yellow Amaltas flowers with the scientific name Cassia Fistula. Before the trees burst into flower bunches, most of them saw to it that they were completely devoid of leaves and their branches looked like skeletons. Bunches of flowers began hanging from the branches like garlands. Only after some days the leaves also come along.
Along with the Amaltas also blossomed the Peltophorum pterocarpum (‘Copperpod, Golden Flamboyant, Yellow Flamboyant,Yellow Flame Tree, Yellow Poinciana) with yellow small flowers. They are not as showy as Amaltas. The foliage of trees is very thick and flowers look like stars in the green colored sky. By this time the Amaltas flowers have lost their sheen. All day these flowers fall to the ground and heaps of them collect or are swept here and there by the wind.
After this began the show by Pride of India, Queen Crape Myrtle, Hindi: Jarul जरुल , Manipuri: Jarol and botanical name is Lagerstroemia speciosa. The flowers are purple colored bunches peeking from the thick branches. The path turns purple with the fallen flowers as if some naughty child had spilled the blue inkpot. These are very big trees and flowers are partially covered behind the leaves.
Now the April has begun. The heat is terrible. The flowers are withering away. Amaltas flowers have been bleached white by the Sun. Others are also fading. But the Last challenge is not over. Only a few days earlier, Gulmohur trees have begun blooming. And everyone knows how showy they are. The trees become like flames and seem to mocking the Sun. These trees are also very high. The flowers are all over the tree which have thin leave density.
Plants did not have the flowers in the beginning. But there were massive herbivorous dinosaurs which guzzled mountains of plants in a day. Since the plants have not evolved flowers and hence seeds for propagation, they felt threatened with extinction. So they evolved flowers and instruments of sexual reproduction were established. Still there was problem for cross pollination. Plants came out with another strategy for transporting the pollen from one flower to another. They used insects like bees and flies as the vehicles for carrying the pollen. But why shall the insects do such chores for free. To award them the plants laced the flowers with sweet nectar and brilliant colors of petals to lure the insects. Bees in fact have acute visual power than humans. They can see in the ultraviolet range of the light spectrum which our eyes cannot. Whether color or not, there are cues or guiding arrows which plants have developed inside the flowers near the pollen.
Flower have great power over the human minds. Due to this they are used on all occasions from happiness to grief. In the marriages and on the dead bodies. They are offered in the worshiping places. All countries have one national flower. Flowers are the means for reproduction which is considered as the most pious activity. Flowers blossom in different seasons.
Normally maximum flowers are seen in the spring season when the winter is slowly receding giving way to the most pleasant season of spring which transits to the hot weather. In fact with each passing day, the heat is building up and vegetation begins to crumble. Flowers begin to wither because they are very delicate. But still there are certain trees which bloom in the heat. They seem to enjoy the heat and bear devil may care attitude to the Sun. In this process, they give us the moments to enjoy the nature’s glory.
Amaltas is one such tree which blooms during the onset of summer. It is called Cassia Fistula in the botanical language. The trees hardly bear any flowers. From the skeletons of the branches hang the beautiful bunches of golden colored flowers. Before becoming the full fledged flowers, the buds are like “Ghungroos” of gold.
The tree is the national flower of Thailand; its yellow flowers symbolize Thai Royality. The golden shower tree is the state flower of Kerala state in India where the flowers are of ritual importance in the Vishu festival. The tree was made it to the 20 rupees stamp. It is also used in medicine.
There are eight to ten trees in our location and they are in full bloom as you can see them bursting forth with full glory.
Though golden blooms on Amaltas (cassia fistula) trees have begun to fade, they are still hanging there. The flowers are loosing their hue steadily and once where only flowers were hanging all over the trees, thick green foliage has begun to appear on the trees. Perhaps, they are feeling too much heat and are unable to withstand it and are withering away. I have pictures of them when they were in full glory. Below is the one.
So, you can see the beauty of the nature, expressed in the golden flowers of Amaltas tree. But alas! now it is almost gone. They are presently in the decline and destruction. “From dust unto dust”.
What if they are now waning? Another tree is now in full bloom. It is called “Gulmohar” in India. The flowers are bold red and it seems that there is fire of red colour raging. They are complementing the torrid heat of the season. Here are some pictures which I took only today. These trees are locating in our colony. They are very majestic and deep green with flowers dominating them these days.
Enjoy this color of the nature also. We should not wait and watch because by the time you will be waiting, this will pass to dust like everything else. The cycle of death and life goes on eternally. They are like two serpents which have caught hold the other by the tail end like the carbons in benzene dreamed once upon by Kekule.