Falling Stars (#ThursdayTreeLove)

October, Night blooming, Millingtonia

This is the time of year in Pune when the beauty of morning walks is enhanced many fold due to the haunting sweet fragrance of the Indian Cork Tree aka ‘Buccha’ (बु च्च ). The roads are carpeted with waxy tube like flowers every morning which demand us to look up at the tree. I never tire of seeing the inflorescence which looks like falling stars!! Notice the flowers in the accompanying images!! 

Millingtonia, Akash chameli, Pune

Universally known as Millingtonia hortensis of the Bignoniaceae family this tree grows straight up and fairly tall. In fact, it grows in many parts of India so many of you will easily recognise this species if not the name of the tree. The genus Millingtonia is in honour of the English botanist Thomas Millington and Buccha is the only species of the genus.
They are night blooming and are at their most fragrant in the night and early mornings. I have not seen fruit formation in my city but I am told that fruits do form in Mumbai – I guess the pollinator insects choose to stay away from here 😉

Bell shaped flowers – next to a pen for size comparison

Waxy petals and didynamous stamens which are peculiar to Bignonicaceae family

The cream coloured flowers can be braided into a ‘veni’ but mind you this needs some skill and practise. 

Veni is the Marathi word for a braid of flowers that worn to adorn hair.

Buccha often gives out suckers that grow sideways which means ‘baby’ plants can be found to be growing next to the older trees. It is commonly grown as a garden tree and avenue tree as well.

Millingtonia is among my favourite trees one that I never tire of seeing, writing about – I have written about or mentioned in five posts so far 🙂

Have you noticed this tree in your city? 

I am participating in Parul’s #ThursdayTreeLove26. Head over to read about some amazing trees from around the world. 

Update on 2 Nov 2017

Millingtonia leaf

Leaf, compound leaf, millingtonia hortensis

Here is an image of the leaf. Leaf can be described as  Bipinnate, leaflets are opposite in 3-5 pairs. Leaflets are ovate, acuminate with rounded base. 

16 Replies to “Falling Stars (#ThursdayTreeLove)”

  1. Hmm. I must look for this tree now when I walk in the few tree lined roads still left. Perhaps I'll go to a botanical garden somewhere. The flowers look so delicate but I haven't yet seen a veni like this. How beautifully woven it is. I've often wondered how many of the sweetest smelling flowers are often plain white. Of course I know there are many coloured flowers too that are fragrant or is it that white flowers are preferred as hair accessories because they contrast with our dark hair?

  2. This tree looks familiar to me; the flower looks like the one, wherein kids play with soap water making bubbles… looks overwhelming looking up to first image:)

  3. @bellybytes Enjoyed reading your thoughtful comments!! Come to think of it, I have not thought why the sweetest smelling flowers are often white… hmm… maybe the pollinators are easily attracted to this colour??? As far as flowers as hair accessories go.. i have seen mostly white flowers. Some veni do use the yellow shevanti flowers and sometimes the ones from south india have Aboli flowers and some green foliage. Those look lovely too…
    Thanks for stopping by Sunita 🙂 🙂

  4. @Angela: Yes, the tree does overwhelm especially the tall ones in full bloom. Thanks for stopping by. I have updated the post today to include leaf images. Hope that helps anyone wanting to spot and id the tree. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. I am learning so much about trees through this blog hop. Never knew the name but you are right that I have seen this flower as the hair thing. The tree also is so green and has that presence. isn't it?
    Thank you for joining Archana! I love that you are also a regular now. <3

  6. This tree is totally new to this native of upstate New York. I suspect this tree would never grow where I live, and I hope I can run across it in some of my United States travels. I'm not sure if we have any night blooming trees where I live – now you have me thinking.

  7. I've never seen this tree where I live in California, or if I did I didn't recognize it. I'd love to see and feel one some time.

  8. Never knew about this! So glad to have come across this. Must say, these are very pretty flowers.

  9. I am not aware if this tree grows in Delhi.I have never searched for a tree so deeply like you. the detailed photos are truly amazing.

  10. Thank you @Geethica. This tree is mentioned in the book Trees Of Delhi. So you can view it there itself 🙂

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