The Indian laburnum also called Amaltas (Cassia fistula) is a quintessential symbol of the Indian summer. Known as the Vishu Konna poov in Kerala; beginning from the month of March, when you land at the Kochi airport, you are greeted by hanging clusters these beautiful yellow flowers. And thereafter as you drive along, on the roadsides and emerging high above the compound walls of houses, these yellow flowers are everywhere. In Bangalore though, I spotted none this year until today.
It was a small lone tree near the compound wall on the western side of the Kasavanahalli lake; you can’t miss the bright yellow blooms !
An interesting fact about the laburnum highlighted by Pradip Krishen, the author the book of Trees of Delhi is that its pods(fruits) do not burst open to release the seeds. After falling off the tree and left to itself the pods rot away on the ground and the seeds are thus freed, but they fail to germinate. The laburnum can only reproduce with the help of animals who feed on the pulp inside the pods and in the process ingest the seeds too and later pass out the seeds; only these seeds germinate. This was experimentally proved by Britisher Robert Scott Troup at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun during the erstwhile colonial days.
Pigs apparently love the fruits of the laburnum for its sweet pulp and there are many pigs around the Kasavanahalli lake and they can help propage this tree. So here’s hoping to see of these fantastic golden blooms in the coming years !!
Till next post, take care !!