Opening on a Friday, April has been an eventful month from the very first day and the days are just rushing past. To begin with it’s a month of festivals; 2 April was celebrated as Ugadi (new year) in Bangalore and festival celebrations always involve showcasing the very best of nature’s abundance in season.
On the occasion our main gate was decorated with a festoon of mango leaves and neem leaves. Unlike the relatively broader mango leaves, the neem leaves were small to be strung individually and hence small clusters adorned the garland. There were tiny white flowers of the neem in the midst of the leaves.
It appeared as a few specks of white amidst the dark green canopy high up on the tree; could it be flowers !? I stopped for a closer look. Discovering flowers on a tree is an exciting prospect, esp. if the tree was unknown to begin with. The flowers for me are the first building blocks to identifying a tree. Yes, they were tiny white flowers and buds on a rather big tree. What are we looking at !?
It was a big tree, the bark was dark grey with vertical furrows. The leaves were slender and slightly curved with a toothed margin….it’s the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), native to the land and considered a sacred tree. It’s also called the Margosa and in Bangalore we have the Margosa road named after street trees planted along the side of the road, in the locality called Malleswaram.
April is the flowering month for the neem tree and the small white flowers are seen in all neem trees, big and small. On some mornings, if you happen to stand near the neem tree, the breeze can shower you with a sprinkling of the tiny white petals…that’s nature’s blessing✨.
Another tree in bloom in summer of April is the Silver Oak; the blossoms are orange in colour and appear like a long bottle brush. From afar, on the tall trees, the flowers appear as orange specks in the green canopy. There are many silver oaks in Bangalore and until now their leaves were seen content to merely sway in the breeze enthrall the onlookers with glints of silver and now they are bursting with orange and excitement !
Another interesting flower seen in bloom in April is this👇; a small lone tree, but with an eye-catching arrangement of flowers and big fruits !
It is the Sausage tree (Kigelia africana); it’s native to Africa and what is it doing here in Bangalore, so far away from home !? I was so happy to see it; it’s an exotic species for Bangalore and never expected to bump into one so informally!! It’s flowers are big and coloured maroonish red.
I couldn’t see a fully open flower on the tree; the flower buds are seen arranged like a chandelier👇 facing up. It’s no guess that the long stout fruit has earned the tree its name.
Till next post, take care !!