The Golden Shower Tree’s scientific name (The Cassia Fistula) is derived from words Cassia, meaning aromatic bark (like Cinnamon) and fistula, indicating tubular or pipe-like shape, which describes the pods. It is a popular ornamental tree worldwide and has multiple medicinal properties.
It is called ‘Aragvadha’ which means ‘disease killer’ in Ayurveda, and is used to treat several dermal, gastrointestinal and cardiac problems. The Golden Shower tree is a beautiful flowering tree with unusual, interesting fruit and significant cultural relevance. Apart from its various uses, when in full bloom in May and June months, it is one of the most beautiful trees in the dry deciduous forests and street sides of India.
The flowers are of ritual importance in the state of Kerala, where they are part of the ‘Vishukkani’ during the festival of Vishu. Its leaves are also used as offerings during religious ceremonies. Besides this, it is the floral emblem of the state of Kerala and the national flower of Thailand.
The tree is native to India and other countries in South and Southeast Asia. A variety of local names in different Indian languages demonstrates its widespread occurrence across the country. Common names range from Amaltas in Hindi, Bahava in Marathi and Vishu Konnai in Malayalam. Interestingly, in West Bengal, the Golden Shower Tree’s local name – Bandar Lathi (meaning monkey’s stick) is derived from the supposition that monkeys are particularly fond of the sweet pulp around the seeds and by eating them, help in dispersing them. The Golden Shower Tree is also mentioned in various Sanskrit scriptures and literary works by different names like Karikara, Suvarnaka, Kritmala, etc.
Rain tree, Coco tamarind (Samanea saman) Flowering tree close up with buds.
Common name: Rain Tree, Coco tamarind, Acacia preta, French tamarind, Saman, Monkey pod • Hindi: गुलाबी सिरिस Gulabi Siris, Vilaiti siris • Bengali: Biliti siris • Tamil: Amaivagai, Thoongumoonji maram.
Botanical name: Albizia saman (Jacq.) Merr. Albizia saman Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family) Synonyms: Samanea saman, Acacia propinquaMimosa saman
Large, handsome and spreading, the Rain Tree is easily recognised by its umbrella like canopy of evergreen, feathery foliage and puffs of pink flowers. Samanea saman meaning “rain”, but in India it is believed that the name was given because of a curious habit possessed by the tree of intermittently spraying the ground beneath with moisture. Later it was discovered that this was caused by multitudinous minute insects. The fruit is a fleshy pod, sweet to the taste and much relished by squirrels, horses and cattle.
Rarely seen fully grown Ballon Plant tree in Wild near Kumili, Thekkady forest reserve area, Kerala, India.
Gomphocarpus (Asclepias physocarpus) is a plant in the milkweed family (in the subfamily Asclepiadoideae of the Apocynaceae, formerly the Asclepiadaceae) often used as an ornamental for the striking yellowish, ball-like fruits.
Flowers are followed by unusual fruits that look like hairy, inflated spheres. The pale green, soft, almost translucent, bladder- like follicles, covered with soft hair-like spines, swell to up to 3 inches in diameter. The follicles become yellowish, often tinged with red or brown, when mature, and very gradually split open to release the numerous brown seeds. Each smooth, flattened oval seed has a tuft of long, silky hairs (a pappus) at one end which aids in dispersal by wind. Cut long stems with pods to use in fresh and dried floral arrangements.
Fallen Flowers remind us of the natural birth/growth/death cycle. It’s hard to believe that nature can pack beautiful shades of colors into one lone Flower; it was hard to pass by without capturing your beauty. So delightful when alive up on the tree fully bloomed, don’t know how many took notice of you and appreciated the nature but the end will be so tragic that you are bound to be crushed by moving vehicles. You accomplished your life mission so here I am to honour you.
A family of eight Parakeets perched on leafless barren tree. There seem to be a serious discussion or difference of opinion. After about a few minutes I found them very calm but looking in different direction and about to disburse(second image). It was a sheer joy to watch and the day spent well.