Friday, May 28, 2010

The Tree of Erotic Love: the Ashoka

According to ancient romantic Sanskrit poetry,the Ashoka tree, Saraca indica, is one of the five flowers used by Kamadeva, the god of Erotic Love, to arouse love in the heart of a couple.It is supposed to burst into bloom as soon as the toe of a beautiful woman touched it. As students,many a time have I and my friends kicked the Ashoka tree in our college garden with no avail! This dusty Ashoka was in full bloom in a campus in Mumbai Just shows how even the trees are misled by makeup!

The Ashoka, also called Sita Ashok, is a native of India. It has many legends connected to it.Sita , the heroine of the Hindu epic Ramayana, was imprisoned by Ravana in a garden of Ashoka trees. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born under an Ashoka tree according to some Buddhists.
The tree is of great medicinal value in the Indian systems of medicine.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Himalayan Clematis

A wild flower which blooms profusely in May in the Himalayas is the Himalayan Clematis- Clematis montana or Clematis himalaya.
The four petalled white flowers have pale pink centres . The climbers are seen enveloping trees . There are bushes of Clematis too, in all sorts of wild places.