Friday, April 22, 2011

Pink Ginger

I saw this pink ginger at the edge of a ravine in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, India, when our bus was waiting for the traffic to clear.
Pink ginger Alpinia purpurata is a native of India and Malaysia. The plant can grow up to a height of 2 metres in the jungle.
The pink bract is very attractive. The tiny white flowers nestle in the bracts.
Like all native plants of India, this plant too is used in Ayurvedic medicine .

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Carpet of Gold

The flowering season of the Copperpod tree has staarted and everywhere one sees a carpet of yellow flowers on the roads. The Copperpod tree Peltophorum pterocarpum is a prolific bloomer. The golden yellow flowers fall to the ground below throughout the day.
A native of India, the Copperpod is called Thangadi Mara in Kannada and Radha Chura in Bengali. It gives good shade during the hot days of summer, hence it is a common roadside tree.
The wood of the tree is used to make farm implements. All through the year, the tree is shedding something or the other. In summer, it sheds its abundant flowers. In autumn, the copper coloured seeds fall to the ground, half eaten by parrots. And in winter, it is the turn of the tiny leaves to litter the ground. Many of my neighbours hate this tree because of this habit of the tree, which compels them to sweep their yards daily. But I love the two trees right outside my gate, because they provide me plenty of stuff through the year for my compost heap!