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Category Archives: evergreen

California Lilac

A compact shrub / small tree with bright blue flowers.  Said to ideal for dense ground cover, for low walls, for fences….  And they have nice dark green leaves and therefore the blue flowers stand out.

Beautiful… Seen at the  resort in Hunters Quay, Dunoon, Scotland.

Species – Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens

Monkey Puzzle Tree

I almost missed the tree in the pouring  rain ( the picture does not show the rain!) but the strange branches caught my eye and then the board with the name.  Monkey Puzzle Tree????  I had to take a picture.  Wish I had taken a better one, but I was worried the camera would be drenched.

A native of Argentina and Chile the tree is  found everywhere in the world!  I read there is one in the Ooty Botanical Gardens.  The tree is supposed to grow up to 70-100 ft and the shape resembles that of a Christmas tree.  The name              ( attributed) is thought to have originated in Europe in 1800s when someone is supposed to have remarked that the tree branches would have even puzzled a monkey – it  would have to figure out how to climb it!  And the name stuck.

The leaves are dark green, and stiff like needles.

Botanical name – Araucaria araucana

Picture taken at Benmore Gardens, Scotland.

Korean Fir

The purple cones were what drew our attention to this marvelous tree.  Native of Korea, it grows well  at high altitudes,with abundant rain and snowfall and humid summers.  The foliage is pretty too. 

Picture taken at Benmore Gardens, Scotland.  You can see a lovely picture here at Aberdeen Gardening.

The cones are purple at maturity. They then disintegrate and winged seeds are released.

Botanical name – Abies Koreana

Gulmohar Tree

Common name: Flame Tree, Royal Poinciana

While I hate the heat in summer, I love the trees that bloom this season.  The yellow Laburnum, the purple Jacaranda and the red/orange Gulmohar. 

Native to Madagascar, this tree is now seen almost all over India.  All through the months of May-June one finds the tree covered with clusters of bright orange flowers along with its delicate green fern leaves.

Botanical name: Delonix regia    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)

Picture taken at Somajiguda, Hyderabad

Fishtail Palm

Common name: Fishtail Palm, Jaggery Palm, Toddy Palm, Wine Palm

I wish I had a better picture. There are so many of these in the city. I could not stop and take the one here ( this is from a moving car) since there was a cop who was not allowing people to stop there for some reason — maybe a VIP visit.

This is a fast growing palm and probably why it is so prevalent. The leaves of the palm – this distinguishes it from other palms – are subdivided and give it the shape of a fish tail and hence the name. Another unique feature are their flowers. the first flowering mop-like cluster emerges from the top of the palm, subsequent clusters emerge below and so on. When the cluster reaches the ground, the palm dies.

Toddy palm is an Asian species commonly grown in India,Burma,Sri Lanka

Botanical name: Caryota urens    Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)

Picture taken at Necklace Road, Hyderabad.

Firebush

Common name: Firebush, Scarlet bush, Hummingbird bush

Semi woody shrub. With clusters of showy reddish,orange-ish scarelet tubular flowers.

Supposed to have showy berries too. Somehow I missed that!

Picture taken at Maru Enclave, Yapral.

Botanical name: Hamelia patens     Family: Rubiaceae (coffee family)

Devil’s Tree

Common name: Dita bark, Devil tree, Blackboard tree,  Milkwood pine

Native to India and SE Asia.  Commonly believed to be the abode of the Devil!  And in some villages, people are afraid to sit under this tree.

The botanical name Alstonia scholaris is interesting. Alstonia to honour a great botanist Prof. C Alston, and Scholaris because it’s wood is traditionally been used to make wooden slates for children.

In October, the greenish fragrant flowers appear. 

 The bark constituents were considered an alternative for treatment of malaria.

Whether it is an abode of the devil or not, it is a beautiful tree even when not flowering.

Botanical name: Alstonia scholaris    Family: Apocynaceae (oleander family)

Info – Flowersofindia.net, Wiki

Picture taken at Necklace Road, Hyderabad.

Coconut Palm

It is claimed ( without proof) that  150 deaths occur due to falling coconuts in a year, a number which is more than shark attacks  on people.

In Mangalore, on our summer vacation, we would rest as the sun set in the cozy courtyards .  Most homes have a coconut palm looming over your head.  We would look up nervously at the coconuts , while our hosts would ask us to relax.  They would assure us that  no coconut would drop while there was a human below.  In all my visits there, I have only heard the sound of coconuts drop at nights. ….

 The Coconut Palm is a member of the palm family. It is the only accepted species in the Genus Cocos.  It is large palm, growing to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4-6 m long. The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The flowers of the coconut palm are both male and female flowers in the same inflorescence. Flowering occurs continuously, with female flowers producing seeds.

 

Botanical name: Cocos nucifera      Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)

The first picture was taken at Shilparamam.  The other two are of a tree that grows right opposite my apartment.  It is home to many squirrels.

Paarijat

Common name: Har singar, Coral Jasmine, Tree of Sorrow, Queen of the night

I generally carry my camera with me at most times.  I had gone to the doctor’s home, and I did not feel the need for the camera here! And there was this lovely tree.  I could take the picture at the left with the mobile phone camera.  A few days later I went armed with my camera, only for a picture, but sadly it had rained and the flowers were sort of shrivelled.  But nevertheless, some pictures were taken.

Nyctanthes arbortristis literally means, night-blooming sad tree. Grows as large shrub or small tree depending on how it is trained.  The scented flowers are small, attractive with white petals and an orange-red tube in center and bloom profusely, opening at night and drop off in the morning, thus making a carpet of flowers in the morning.

Used for worship by Hindus and Buddhists. 

They are produced in clusters of two to seven together.   These are apparently only flowers that Hindus offer to God picked from the ground instead of plucking from the tree.

According to mythology, this is a heavenly tree brought to earth by the god Krishna. Both Satyabhama and Rukmini, Krishna’s wives wanted the flower. So Krishna planted the tree in Satyabhama’s courtyard in a way that when the tree flowered, the flowers fell in Rukmini’s courtyard. Another romantic story woven around the tree is about Parijataka, a princess. She fell in love with the sun but when he deserted her she committed suicide and a tree sprung from the ashes. Unable to stand the sight of the lover who left her, the tree flowers only at night and sheds them like tear-drops before the sun rises

Botanical name: Nyctanthes arbortristis    Family: Oleaceae (Jasmine family)

Picture taken at Dr BS home at Punjagutta, Hyderabad.

Info – Flowers of India, Wiki, Top Tropicals.com

Copper Pod

This particular tree has its branches chopped off almost every three months, since they brush against the telephone and power lines.  To the extent that only the trunk with a few branches are left.  But within no time, the branches grow, the leaves appear and it is in bloom all over again. For me, it appears to fight for survival.

Common name: Copperpod, Rusty shield-bearer

  Copperpod also called yellow flame tree.  It has fern like leaves.  A native of Sri Lanka, the Andamans, the Malay peninsula and North Australia. The yellow blooms are very attractive.  The tree to the right of it ( not in the picture) finished blooming and is devoid of flowers, while this one began and added colour to the neighbourhood. The name `Copper Pod’ comes from the coppery-red seed cases that are seen in profusion.  And yes, the ground below the tree is strewn with these flowers.

Botanical name: Peltophorum pterocarpum    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)