It is the the long, slender red buds, standing upright amidst the big dark green leaves that I noticed first. The striking red buds of this small tree seem to be reaching out to the sun but I had no idea what plant it was !? The buds should be blooming into large flowers I mused; but over the months, I saw not a single flower on these trees ! The red buds were leaf buds 🙃. Some of the leaves have a reddish midrib.
I was out on my occasional evening walks around our apartment complex; initially I never bothered much with the flora that are cultivated with care by our gardners. I was only out to cover my 5000 steps🚶🏻♀️. And then I happened to read Ruskin Bond….
“Some are fitness freaks, I suppose; but several are just unhappy souls who find some release, some meaning, in covering miles and miles of highway without so much as a nod in the direction of others on the road. They are not looking at anything as they walk, not even at a violet in a mossy stone.”
“I wonder at the great speed at which they move. People come seeking Nature and new experiences but have no interest in the world outside.”Ruskin Bond
And then I started looking 👀. I was ignorant of the names of most of the plants; the lack of knowledge did bother me and I tried asking the gardners; they were not sure of the names either, maybe they knew the names of the plants in the local language, which I did not follow; but they offered to give me saplings and stem cuttings to take home and plant. No, thank you; the apartment association would not approve of the free samples. So the solution now is to click and it’s Google lens to the rescue📱.
The small trees were Rubber Trees !! No way, I thought. My maternal grandparents owned rubber plantations in Kerala and I know what rubber trees look like; the trees are very tall, planted at measured intervals with smaller leaves high above that prevented sunlight from reaching the ground and that together with the dense cover of the fallen leaves around, they made sure nothing else could grow under the rubber trees. The leaves of this tree were much bigger, bronzed green and thick and I have never seen a long red leaf buds on rubber trees. Ah…! but these are ornamental and indoor rubber trees; an hybrid form that can be grown in pots 🪴
There are five of these Rubber Trees distanced and planted in a row, just outside the generator bay area enclosure. It’s a shady, low lying area after which is a steep step up to the football field. I don’t normally walk this way; but for a closer look at the Rubber trees I gingerly stepped on what looked like ploughed soil, devoid of any weeds. The watchman on the opposite side seemed curious. Yep, the red buds were leaf buds.
Rubber trees in Bangalore city and that too indoor rubber trees and potted; who knew !!
Till next post, take care !!