Tree tales🌳along the Kasavanahalli lake trail🚶🏻‍♀️➰Bangalore 🎋(March series Part 𝟛 of 𝟛)

Along the Kasavanahalli lake trail, Bangalore

….🚶🏻‍♂️We are now walking along the eastern side of the Kasavanahalli lake and after the eucalyptus grove, you come across a fork along walking trail. One road continues as the original trail around the lake’s circumference, it’s a longer stretch back to our point of origination (western entrance) compared to the second road which cuts right across the lake and brings you back to the western gate. This road is a chord across the lake acts as a bund to create a minor segment labelled as a wetland.

The wetland area at the Kasavanahalli lake, Bangalore

We shall travel on the bund road first; it’s a small shady stretch once again planted with the Singapore cherry tree (Muntingia calabura) on either sides.

Singapore cherry tree (Muntingia calabura) along the bund road at the Kasavanahalli lake

On the bund road, there are two portions filled with big blocks of stone which seems home to this common vine – the Railway creeper (Ipomoea cairica) a flower with lilac petals and a purple throat.

Railway creeper (Ipomoea cairica)

It’s a quiet stretch and is very helpful esp. when you want to get quickly to the other side. The white lilies on the lake are seen only here👇.

White lilies on the wetland side of the bund road
View of the lake side from the bund road

🚶🏻‍♀️…Meanwhile back on the original walking trail around the lake, by this time, you will probably start getting a rotten egg smell off and on; there is a sewage drain nearby and after a while, you tend to ignore the smell. The Railway creeper has literally taken over the metal mesh fence around the lake and are now seen conquering the nearby trees.

Railway creeper on the metal fence at the Kasavanahalli lake

After the Singapore cherry tree, the next most common tree you will be seeing on the trail is the Honge tree (Millettia pinnata) also called the Indian beech tree. There are so many of them around the lake ! You first notice the bright shiny light green leaves with a pointy tip and in March, you can see the flowers bloom profusely on the tree. The tree is native to Bangalore and has numerous uses ranging from providing shade to medicines for various ailments.

The bright shiny leaves of the Honge tree at the Kasavanahalli lake
Indian beech tree or Honge tree (Millettia pinnata)

The flowers of the Honge tree occur in large clusters; the individual flowers are small, white with a maroon cup like base.

Flower of the Honge tree

While some trees are still laden with flowers, others have graduated to bearing fruits. The fruits of the Honge tree are flat oval with a hard pod.

Oval fruits of the Honge tree

The next enigma of a tree you are likely to encounter is this 👇 – the Jungle Jalebi tree (Pithecellobium dulce); it has many other interesting names like the Madras thorn, Manila tamarind etc. You are going to first notice the spiny spreading branches of this tree.

Jungle Jalebi tree at the Kasavanahalli lake, Bangalore

Then on closer look, you will notice on the branches the round white flowers and the coiled green fruits. In addition to the coiling, the fruit pods are also pinched between seeds. And when the fruit ripens, the colour of the pod changes to a dark pink colour and the pod splits open to release the seeds. The dark pink colour of the ripe pod stands out on the tree, amidst the green !

Flowers and fruits of the Jungle Jalebi tree at the Kasavanahalli lake
The dark pink ripe pods (fruits) of the Jungle Jalebi tree at the Kasavanahalli lake, Bangalore

After the Singapore cherry tree and the Honge tree, the next most common find along the lake side is the Earpod Wattle tree (Acacia auriculiformis). In March, the tree is green but no flowers instead you notice the brown extremely coiled up fruit pods hanging from the tree.

Earpod Wattle tree (Acacia auriculiformis) at the Kasavanahalli lake
The ripe coiled pods of the Earpod Wattle tree (Acacia auriculiformis)

The leaves (which in some way resembles the long narrow leaves of the eucalyptus tree) on this tree are not leaves at all….It’s an acacia tree and the true leaves of an acacia tree are generally seen divided into small leaflets, but this acacia tree has develop modified flat leaf-like structures called phyllodes, which are simply flattened leaf stalk. They do all the functions of a leaf while minimising the water lost through the leaf pores, an adaptation for arid climates. It sounds a bit crazy and difficult to believe !! The flowers are yellow and we hope to see them in the later months, during the rains.

Earpod Wattle tree (Acacia auriculiformis)

There are many other trees about, we have just covered some special ones that stand out in the month of March. Nearing back at the western gate of the Kasavanahalli park, there are Pink trumpet trees in bloom and Australian Almond trees in various stages of leaf shedding and renewal.

Silhouette of an Australian Almond tree at the Kasavanahalli lake, Bangalore

The trail around the Kasavanahalli lake is about 2.2 km and the time you take to cover it totally depends on you, whether you focus on the nature or the walk. There are regulars who walk the trail everyday; but each day has something new to offer, if you keep an open eye and mind !!

Till next post, take care !!

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