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! 

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!

Coffee (ThursdayTreeLove)

I have posted Coffee on my blog earlier and here it is again.

The reason for a repeat post on Coffee is because @puneribaker shared these lovely Coffee blossom images.. And I had to share them with all TTL bloggers!

Coffee belongs to the Coffea genus and to the Rubiaceae family.

Its flowers are extremely fragrant and grow in leaf axils. The leaves itself are oppositely placed on the stem and have a prominent interpetiolar stipule. This kind of stipule is a characteristic of this plant family.

Commercially, coffee is grown in tea estates under the shade of tall Silver Oak trees. In India, the Kodagu district in Karnataka is a prominent coffee growing region.

But plant lovers have procured and nurtured coffee plants in their gardens in other parts of India as well. The above images are from one such garden. The species grows well in Pune.. bears flowers and fruits (despite not being in its optimal weather conditions) thus keeping the plant parents are happy!!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. We are meeting after a break and best wishes to Parul for recovery. Do head over to her blog to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

PS. Some other Rubiaceae members are Mussaenda , Morinda citrifolia and Mitragyna parviflora. They are popular garden varieties and I am sure you would have seen those.

More Morning Hues (Wordless Wednesday)

A beach in Goa..
The Sun rises in Goa
The sugarcane fields were in bloom and I could not resist trying to capture the glowing inflorescence from the moving vehicle. The camera does no justice to the beautiful scene..

Posting a day late, but I am sure you will enjoy these images of beautiful mornings ..

I am joining Natasha in her #WW blog hop.

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 😉

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!

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!

Tigers Nest (Wordless Wednesday)

Last year we trekked up to the Tigers Nest, at Paro in Bhutan. It is an iconic monastry situated precariously at the very edge of a cliff at an altitude of around 10,200 feet. A visit to Bhutan is incomplete without trekking up to the Tigers Nest.

It is a demanding walk but the beautiful surroundings makes one forget time and effort. The walk is made richer as one can can spot amazing birds, butterflies enroute.

Here are a few glimpses … all images from my cell phone..

First glimpse. .there is it high up and far away…
The route meanders through an amazing Pine, Rhododendron forest .. steep in parts and gentle on the knees at others.
The gorgeous forest offers cool shade to the trekkers
Enroute one meets grand old trees!
There is a cafeteria at the half way mark.. And we got a tantalising glimpse of our goal in the distance on the opposite mountain..
Catching my breath!
Its been about an hour and half of steady climbing.. The Tigers Nest seems so close…but we have to climb down several stone steps, across a small bridge and waterfall and climb up again ..
So near..
The final climb up..
All bags, cell phones, shoes have to be deposited at this point.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual trek with me! I would love to hear from you!

I am joining Natasha in her #WordlessWednesday Bloghop!