Well Settled (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today, my tree is not really a tree.. its a woody perennial climber that grows huge thick trunks that almost look like tree trunks. Its very well known for its flowers and very common all over India. This non-native species has made itself at home and seems very happy judging by the profuse flowering we see.

Well settled as it were!

The flamboyant blossoms are not fragrant but are a sight to behold. Strangely its ‘petals’ are not really petals but bracts. Its fruit is said to be an achene but I have not yet seen one.

I am sure by now you have guessed which plant I refer to.

Yes…. Its the Bougainvillea!

The plant belongs to the Nyctaginaceae family and the Bougainvillea glabra is a common species B spectabilis is another.

What a wonderful roof cover!
Just a few of the glorious colours!
The Pink bracts enclose the white flower!
India Posts has issued a stamp to honour this plant.

Some Bougainvillea variants lend themselves to being made into Bonsai and are popular among Bonsai artists in India. Here is wonderful Bonsai by Master Nacho Marin as it put up on the Bonsai Empire website.

A stunning Bonsai by Master Nacho Marin .. Image uploaded via a link from the Bonsai Empire Website
This is a Bougainvillea bonsai by late Mrs Mandakini Malaviya . Photo added on 15/1/21

Where have you seen the Bougainvillea? Which colours have you seen? Have you spotted the double coloured cultivars?

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

Tree Love (ThursdayTreeLove)

This is one of the glorious sights on my morning walk on Pune’s Vetal Tekdi. Some may well ask what is remarkable in this image .. the grass has dried, many trees have shed their leaves and so on…

The Sun just peeping out from the horizon on a chilly winter morning (yes Pune does have a few every season ๐Ÿ™‚ ) is a glorious sight to behold. Refreshing the mind and soul.

But tree lovers will adore trees in all the seasons in all their natural states. A leafless tree displaying its trunk and branch architecture is as beautiful as one in full bloom. The golden grass carpet crunching below our feet and rustling in the breeze soothes as none other.

As John Muir has said, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Natureโ€™s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.โ€

I am sure you all agree!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. It the hundredth edition this time and I am happy to say I have been participating since the 20th. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

As 2020 ends, let me wish you all, dear readers, a Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy year ahead.

Elephant Apple (ThursdayTreeLove)

What is it that first strikes you about this tree?

I am sure you will agree with me that its the glossy leaves that are eye catching. This is the Dillenia indica of the Dilleniaceae family and commonly known as Elephant Apple. This is a native species and its flowers are just as beautiful as its leaves.

The family Dilleniaceae is in honour of Johann Jacob Dillenius who was a Botanist and Botany Professor at Oxford. India Post has released a commemorative stamp of this tree species.

The leaf has a serrated margin and distinct veins

The five petaled fragrant flowers are large, solitary and face downwards.


Apparently the fruit is a favourite of elephants hence this common name! It is about the size of an apple and I have read that the pulp is used in some our our curries etc.

A few years ago, this species was not very common in Pune, and tree lovers made it a point to visit the few known locations where it did grow. However now I have seen it growing at many places , even on roadsides!

Have you seen the Dillenia indica? Do look out for its blossoms in June/July and Oct to Jan.

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

Offspring (ThursdayTreeLove)

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees – Amelia Earhart

While roots of trees are underground in most cases , plants do grow aerial roots. The Ficus species is the easily recognisable example. When the hanging root touches ground, a new tree is born at that spot. Over time, the single tree has several offsprings and it becomes a forest!!

The Great Banyan at the Botanical Garden in Kolkata, the Banyan at Pemgiri and the Banyan at Auroville are famous for creating such forests.

Have you seen these or other similar ancient Ficus?

Your city would surely have mini versions of such new trees.

Here are two lovely roadside trees that provide a shelter from Sun or Rain to passerby’s. A wonderful spot for evening chats!

And a cool spot to park a vehicle ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around thecworld.

Better still, join in!!

Happy Diwali folks!!!

May this festival of lights bring good Health and Happiness to everyone!

Sweet Sour (ThursdayTreeLove)

We have all heard of the story of Ber offered by Shabari to Lord Ram. The sweet sour Ber (Indian Plum) is a favourite fruit for many of us.. I remember a vendor selling small red Ber near our school and quite often we did buy a handful for a Rupee – always sold in a paper cone!

What did its tree look like or where did it grow was never thought of!

Over time, I have lost a taste for Ber but its tree has fascinated me.

The hills of Pune are home to many Ber trees. Some of them are the wild variety and not tasty at all but still a good reminder of my childhood.

Ber belongs to the Ziziphus genus and to the Rhamnaceae family. It is a small tree with drooping branches. Some species are shrub-like and armed. The leaves typically are three nerved and have a shiny whitish undersurface. This makes it quite easy to identify a Ber tree.

Here is the Ber I meet very often in my walks!

Tree with its drooping branches
Tiny creamy yellowish flowers . Three veined leaves with toothed margins!
Forgive me for the hazy image but do see the shiny white leaf undersides.
The tree with fruit!
Ber are the red berries at the bottom right. This image is taken at Mahabaleshwar ! Natural foods to munch while sight seeing!

What is your memory of this humble fruit? Do you like the sweet variety of Ber or the sour ones?

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

Autumn Colours (ThursdayTreeLove)

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

Looking at Autumn or Fall colours is a right on top of my Tree Travel wish lists.. I have always just got a glimpse of the glorious foliage never really catching the plants in their full Fall Glory.

As the above quote says, each leaf dons a spectacular unique colour that truly makes it look like a flower.

Here are a few images from my travels.. I am looking forward to the day when I can see the Fall Colours with my own eyes.. sigh…. Till then, I look forward to the TTL posts from around the world in the next couple of month..

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!

Henna (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today I have a Shrub instead of a Tree but I am sure all of you will enjoy this plant!

The title has been the spoiler so no surprises about the identity.

Yes, these delicate flowers are of the Henna or Mehendi plant. Botanically called Lawsonia inermis, it belongs to the Lythraceae family (that is the family of Crape Myrtles). It is a native and evergreen species.

In my childhood days, I remember it was grown as a hedge plant – I was told that the leaves are bitter hence goats, cows stayed away. However neighbourhood girls always managed to pluck the leaves, grind them on stones and apply the paste on our hands. The red colour was sufficient attraction.. the design was simple – a circle in the centre of the palm and capping the ends of the fingers. There was no thought of making designs.

That’s my plant.. still very young..
Fruit of Mehendi

I do remember we used to put a dot on the forehead.. this is one part where Mehendi does not colour the skin.. the story was if the forehead skin took up the colour then that girl would be a Queen!

No… mine never did colour!

Over the years, this way of putting Mehendi has ended.. readymade Mehendi cones have replaced ground leaves and designs are elaborate.

I am not complaining.. I love the colour and the fragrance that Mehendi leaves on our hands!

Besides India, Mehendi is also used as body art is several countries. We also use it as a hair conditioner and to colour hair.

Here are a few images of Mehendi as body art.

On the top left, the artist is at work! The Peacock and Lotus are popular design elements.

I am sure most of you would be familiar with Henna/Mehendi .. Have you seen the shrub?

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!

Red and Green (ThursdayTreeLove)

In May 2020
In August 2020
In May 2020
In August 2020

The Gulmohor (Delonix regia) of the Caesalpiniaceae family is a deciduous tree -which means it loses its foliage in the winter. Come summer it bursts into full red glory (sometimes orange).. but once it rains, the tree becomes a glorious green canopy.

Here are the images of the same tree in May and August! Nature has its own way of signalling seasons to the trees. Is it the temperature, position of the Sun, or something else?

Either way, trees dont need a calender .. infact, sometimes they indicate the upcoming season to us!

This is my TTL post from May 2020 – the very same tree in full red glory!

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

Yellow (ThursdayTreeLove)

The almost mandatory photo stop in my daily walk!

What do you first see in this image? I know you will say trees.. we are on ThursdayTreeLove after all!! And you are right!!

Normally I would have admired the clouds or the view but this time the yellow blaze caught my eye. So much so that I walked an extra 500m to reach this tree.

No identification puzzles this time.

There grew a row of Peltophorum pterocarpum and all were in bloom. Their blazing yellow flowers were the head turners that day. This tree belongs to the Caesalpiniaceae family and is known as Copper Pod Tree. It is a common avenue tree in Pune and its dense green foliage is made up of pretty feather like leaves . Its fragrant flowers give way to rusty red pods hence the local name Copper Pod tree. The Peltophorum looks wonderful in bloom as well as when full of these coppery pods.

Flowers and Fruit
Not native to Pune, yet the species is happy in the city with profuse flowering and fruiting every year.

As I said, this is mostly an avenue tree which means one cannot really sit under its dense cool shade or enjoy its fragrance … It is all in a days work for the Peltophorum to lay out a yellow carpet for morning walkers..

A yellow carpet .. image from a few years ago

Have you seen this majestic tree and enjoyed the fragrance of its blooms?

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!

Brush (ThursdayTreeLove)

A visit to the Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden in Kolkata was at the end of our trip to the Sunderbans. It was a botanically wondrous trip to say the least! The Garden itself is huge and home to unique trees like the famous Banyan

Here is another tree that I met for the first and only time! A beautiful red brush like structure beckoned me from a distance and located as it was amid leaves had me immediately thinking of the Shaving Brush tree (Pseudobombax ellipticum) which does grow in Pune. However when I went closer, the tree looked different especially its leaves. It was end of January and the digitate glossy green leaves suggested a different ID. 

Seen from afar

Luckily for me, the placard saved me the trouble and I could freely admire the Pachira aquatica without any stress of identification. It belongs to the Bombacaceae family just like the Shaving Brush Tree which explained the similarity in the flowers. Also known as Malabar Chestnut tree it is an introduced species in India. I loved its flowers which are nothing like those used for table decorations or bouquets. 

Flower and Fruit

Have you seen this wonderful tree? When in Kolkata please do make time for the botanical garden! 
I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove Blog hop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Tree Trunk