A Tree And A Nursery Rhyme ( ThursdayTreeLove)

“Here we go around the Mulberry bush…” is a popular nursery rhyme from my childhood and even now. Contrary to the song, it is not a bush but a small tree. Pune has a few of these trees though it is not native to this region and they do flower and fruit every year. Its botanical name is Morus alba and belongs to the Moraceae family.

I wondered about the origins of the rhyme especially when I saw this fruit laden tree. A Wikipedia article revealed some strange history. One theory suggests that the rhyme began with female prisoners at a prison in England who exercised around a Mulberry tree. Another theory suggests that the rhyme could be a joke on the difficulties faced by the silk industry.

This particular tree was filled with fruit though my photo does not do justice to its abundance. The small oval shaped fruit are sweet sour to taste and best eaten when dark in colour. The fruit is also very delicate and crushes easily when handled. Its flowers are green catkins that hand down from axils.

Heart shaped leaves with toothed margins. Some leaves are lobed.
Tree trunk

While this tree is small, I have seen a huge one at Joshimath in Uttarakhand, which is said to be an over 2000 year old heritage tree. (Sharing this image though I know it is totally unrelated to the nursery rhyme…)

Again, my photo does not show the massive trunk girth. It is a long walk to go around the tree.

Have you seen the Mulberry Tree? Do you remember the nursery rhyme?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some lovely trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Calm (ThursdayTreeLove)

“Looking out over the lake, I felt enveloped in the most peaceful, loving utopia.” – Laurie Kahn
Tree photo

My daughter sent me this image as she was struck by the beauty of the blue lake and the tree growing in it. It was impossible to identify the tree, or what made its branches look white. Was it hosting some birds? Or had its leaves turned white for some reason?

The lake itself was still and beautiful and the tree seemed happy to grow in the middle of the water.

All that mattered was the feeling of calm afforded by the view.

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Tree Frame (ThursdayTreeLove)

At the end of a two hour long walk the cool shade of this Ficus was most welcoming. As I focused my phone camera towards the hill and temple atop, the tree formed a lovely ‘frame’ to the photo.

20210925_082203
The Ficus frames the hill in the background

Most temples have a Ficus growing in their courtyard – usually Ficus religiosa or Ficus benghalensis. This seems to be a Ficus racemosa. All Ficus belong to the Moraceae family and are quite easy to identify.

20210925_082221
Ficus racemosa

We hiked in the Bopdev Ghat area of Pune and the place is mostly devoid of trees. There are several hills around and being the monsoon, we could see almost all shades of green. A sight for sore eyes indeed! The few trees that did grow markedly stood out from a distance.

IMG-20210925-WA0087
IMG-20210925-WA0220

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

PS: I have been facing some issues with my blog..wrt to.uploadimg images, comments. I am trying to sort them out. Thanks for your support and understanding! 🙏🏻

Meanwhile, this same post is on Blogger, and if you face problems in commenting , please click here to comment. Thanks friends!!

Down Memory Lane (ThursdayTreeLove)

I am happy to share that this is my 100th TTL post! I was looking for a special tree for this one but soon realised that each tree is special in its own way.

Hence I settled for a tree from a walk down memory lane. Not mine but my husbands.

Last month, we finally could visit the town where his spent his childhood holidays. Both of us were apprehensive as there were reports that the town had become quite rundown and not worth visiting. But he was not disappointed. To some extent, it felt as if the township was stuck in time. The houses, the lanes, the play ground, guest house and so on were unchanged.. Just older. This meant that my husband could locate every place that he enjoyed years ago. Days spent with grandparents are precious and forever continue to remain bathed in a golden glow.

Here is a tree that was growing near the pool where the kids learnt to swim. It is a Clusea rosea (aka Pitch Apple) of the Clusiaceae family. The tree is also called the Autograph tree because anything scribbled on the leaf with a finger nail remains till the leaf falls off. This species is native to the Carribean.

Clusea rosea (1)

The leaves reminded me of Magnolia but the flowers were different

Clusea rosea (4)
Flower

The plant can grow as an epiphyte which can explain the supporting roots that grew at the trunk base.

Clusea rosea (5)
Look closer to see the aerial roots.

I was happy to meet a new species which made the visit special for me as well. The pool and garden where this tree grew were a special part of his childhood and I was happy to be part of it now albeit via a tree growing there.

Which trees are a part of your childhood memories? A huge Mango tree growing next to our building is a distinct memory from my school days. Sadly no photos of it. What about you?

Thank you all for visiting and commenting my TTL posts. I big shoutout to Parul as well for this fantastic bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Wall Cover (ThursdayTreeLove)

This Y shaped plant was just as attractive as the beautiful castle in Krakow. Moving closer I found it to be full of lovely flowers and bees! After going around to view treasures in the museum, I made a beeline to capture this Hedera helix (that was its botanical name) in my camera.

Hedera helix at the castel

This is a climber of the Araliaceae family with pretty palmate leaves . It is grown to cover walls and fences. In this location it seems to have been trained to grow in a specific pattern, but the species is said to be potentially invasive.

Flowers

Here in Pune, Ficus pumila and the Curtain Creeper (Tarlmounia elliptica) are commonly used to cover walls. The Hedera helix is uncommon in my city and I remember its unique shape and flowers as vividly as the wonderful exhibits from the castle.

What plants have you noticed as wall covers? Have you seen the Ivy?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, hop in!

Tree Boulevard (ThursdayTreeLove)

Due to issues with WordPress, I could not put up this post here on Thursday. Hence I had written about my tree on Blogger .. I am still unable to upload images here..

So Click here to read about the the Unter der Linden and see the images.. it is an arterial road in Berlin named after a tree .. namely The Linden.

Lindens belong to the Malvaceae family (Hibiscus family).  The trees I saw had heart shaped leaves with toothed margin. 

Our guide said she hated to park under a Linden as the car would be full of sticky substance the next morning! My research showed that it was not plant exudate to blame but the Aphids that infest the plant!

Click here to see my images of Unter der Linden.

I have always wondered what factors guide species choice when roadside plantation is done. 

In his book Trees of Delhi, the author Pradip Krishen, discusses why particular species may have been chosen to line avenues in Lutyens Delhi. Apparently evergreen species which do not grow very tall (size and shape of trees) were a factor. 

New York streets are said to have predominantly male Gingko trees. 

But I am not sure how many cities have roads named for trees growing there! 

A big Yay for Unter den Linden!!

What have you noticed about the species lining trees in your city? Do you know of other streets named after trees?

Update: I now know of a road named after the Cypress!!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in! 

Cousin (ThursdayTreeLove)

These cute pink ball like flowers can be quite misleading. They look like Touch Me Not flowers but the leaves do not respond to touch. Further, this is a shrubby plant whereas the Touch Me Not is mostly a ground hugging herb.

Hooked prickles visible

With no further suspense, let me share that this plant is Mimosa hamata – a ‘cousin’ of the famous Touch Me Not. Both belong to the Mimosaceae family and to the Mimosa genus. It is common on the hills of Pune and the pretty flowers demand attention from afar. They are not fragrant and the plant has hooked prickles which means one has to be careful when trying to take photographs!

Mimosa hamata is commonly seen on Vetal Tekdi

We meet several such plant cousins. The Jasmines are all ‘related’ if I may say so.. They belong to the same Genus. Which other cousins have you met?

🙂

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Explore (ThursdayTreeLove)

My city, Pune, is lucky to have many hills (called tekdi in Marathi) within the city limits itself or should I say, the city has grown to engulf the hills and now threatens their very existence. I have many posts about the Vetal Tekdi but today I introduce you to the Dhanori Hills. These hills are in the periphery of Pune and overlook the airport.

Compared to Vetal Tekdi, this area is almost tree- less.. almost because there were just a handful of young trees growing there. You can see what I mean in this image.

This is a Neem tree aka Azadirachta indica of the Meliaceae family. It is a native Indian species that grows in difficult areas. It is an immensely useful tree and is seen in most parts of India.

We had to drive quite a distance to reach this spot and seeing the almost lonely tree, I found this to be a perfect quote.

If you know a lonely tree, go and visit it even it it takes miles to walk there! Because lonely tree is a great monument of strength! — Mehmet Murat ildan

The climb is easy in parts but some parts are really tough on the knees entailing huge step-ups. There is a series of three hillocks with a flat portion after each that leads to the next climb. The fourth hillock has a small temple that is a very calm and serene place.

The twin domes of the Dighi Hills (located at some distance away) can be spotted all through the climb up.

Panoramic view of the city.

Travel opens our minds to many things but I think its also important to explore different parts of the city/town we live in. One never knows what surprises it will throw up!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Rubber (ThursdayTreeLove)

For a very long time, I thought that rubber that is used in various industries (to make tires, footwear, pipes and so on – just to name a few) comes from the Rubber Plant. To my chagrin, I realised my mistake quite late in life! The domestic ornamental Rubber Plant actually belongs to the Moraceae family and is Ficus elastica.

Commercially, rubber is sourced from Hevea brasiliensis that belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. This tree is native to South America but was introduced to India by the British and is now grown extensively in southern states of India. Latex collected from these plants is processed to make various industrial products.

The deciduous tree has a leafy crown of trifoliate leaves. Wild specimens can live for up to 100 years but those grown in plantations are replanted earlier as latex production falls. I saw several plantations a few years ago in Kasargod, Kerala. Here are a few images.

The crown was too high for me to capture the leaf details but we can see the dense shade cast by the canopy.
Latex oozes out from cuts made on the tree trunk and it is collected in such vessels. This process is called tapping and it is usually done in the morning.
Spot the latex drop and it drips into the container.

Here is a Wikipedia article that gives detailed info about the chemical nature of rubber, its processing and so on. Little do we realise that plants provide the raw material of so many important products in our lives.

It is interesting to know that many plants have influenced history. Prof PK Ghanekar has written the book इतिहास घडविणार्‍या वनस्पती (means Plants that have fashioned history) wherein he has described many such varieties and Rubber is one of them.

Have you seen the Hevea brasiliensis?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Uncommon beauty (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today I share a pretty shrub that I have seen only in the wild. Somehow never spotted it in gardens be they public ones or home gardens.

Called Dhayti in Marathi or Woodfordia fruiticosa , this spreading shrub grows commonly on the hills of Pune. It has ovate leaves and the crimson or blazing orange flowers are most distinctive. Dhayti belongs to the Lythraceae family and is an indigenous species. It is said to have huge medicinal benefits in Ayurveda.

This uncommon beauty is surely worthy of a place in city gardens dont you think!

This is what the beautiful flowers reminded me of..

“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.” – Edwin Curran

Have you seen the Dhayti? It flowers from February to April so do watch out for it!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Head over to see fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!