Upside Down (ThursdayTreeLove)

Majority plants we see have their flowers or inflorescence growing upwards.. or facing the sky.
I am sure you all must have noticed it.

But there are some beautiful species where the flowers actually face downwards.. towards the ground.
Up side Down as it were.
Let me first share two of my favourites..
Moha .. A species indigenous to India and has huge economic importance especially for tribals. 

Here are its uniquely shaped flowers.

Moha is known all over  by its botanical name of Madhuca longifolia and belongs to the Sapotaceae family.Just like Fall Foliage of the West, this tree puts up a spectacular show in spring when it bursts into new leaf. The book Jungle Trees of Central India by Pradip Krishen has two full pages devoted just to the spring reds of the Moha.

Yet another lovely bloom is the Bakul or Maulsari . Its flowers have a divine fragrance and in fact the tree is blooming right now in Pune! Its flowers face downwards as for Moha. Bakul goes by the botanical name Mimusops elengii and belongs to the Sapotaceae family.

Here are some others..
Durangi Babool or Dichrostachys cinerea of the Mimosaceae family.

Wrightia species of the Apocyanceae family.

Flowers of the Custard Apple or Annoa squamosa also face downwards as do those of the Hirwa Chafa or Artabotrys hexapetalus. Both these belong to the Annonaceae family.

Update: Brugmansia , Fuschia and Adansonia digitata also deserve a mention in this post!
Alana  has told us that Lenten Rose, Columbine also have downward facing flowers! 

Have you noticed downward facing flowers on trees/shrubs/creepers?

I have always wondered why this is a feature of some plants? Does it have something to do with their pollination or seed dispersal?
Any ideas folks?

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

16 Replies to “Upside Down (ThursdayTreeLove)”

  1. Flowers have so much to tell us. But we tend to take them for granted. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I've seen downward facing flowers on some herbaceous and other type plants commonly grown in my temperate area – Lenten Rose, columbine, certain types of allium come to mind. As far as columbine, it is a favorite of hummingbirds, which are very small, fast moving birds with long, hooked beaks, who drink the nectar. If you have birds like hummingbirds, perhaps they feed from these, especially those with reddish flowers (their favorite color)? This may assist with their pollination, too.

  3. @Alana That is so interesting. We dont have Hummingbirds in my region but some Sunbirds come close to their 'hovering'to drink nectar. I have seen Columbine but must look up the other plants you mention. Thank you so much for this interesting info 🙂
    I just updated my post with 2 more species seen in my city!

  4. I always enjoy reading your post, its informative and interesting to learn. I am impressed by your knowledge of trees and flowers and efforts you take to share the botanical names. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. Happy coincidence as you noticed! Loved to see same tree. Loved the more information you have shared on same.

  6. Very interesting. And as I read your post, I also wondered which of those blooming ones have I seen that have flowers facing downwards. Bottle brushes for sure.
    Thank you for that nugget of wisdom. You are our inhouse botanist. 🙂
    Glad you joined. See you tomorrow. 🙂

  7. @Parul Thanks!! but I am just learning!! I remembered so many more such plants *after* I had posted this that I think a sequel post is called for!! 🙂 Happy to participate in TTL!

  8. This is a great post, took me down memory lane! Those lovely trees of my childhood memories of Pune.

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