23 November 2017

Feeling Dwarfed (#ThursdayTreeLove)

Ever so often we feel dwarfed when next to some tall structures (monuments, mountains etc) or figuratively when we hear profound thoughts or deeds. Yet another occassion is when faced with monumental trees. Today I want to describe one such.

We had seen this one at a temple in Manali and I felt really small standing under it. The view as I looked up is in the image below and I could not see the tree top from where I stood. The branches created a dense mesh of sorts that filtered the sunlight as it reached the ground. 

Cedrus, Pinaceae, Manali, Trees

According to the locals, this is a really old tree, a claim which was supported by its height and girth. The tree is the Devdar which goes by the botanical name Cedrus deodara from the Pinaceae family. The leaves are needle like and the tree bears cones and not regular fruit that we are familiar with. 

There were several Devdars in Manali and in on the mountain slopes as well. Here is another one that I spotted. Its stem is twisted, I wonder why.....

The species is native to India and commonly found on the slopes of the western Himalayas.

Have you seen the mighty Devdar tree?

I am participating in Parul's #ThursdayTreeLove28. Head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world.

09 November 2017

Heritage Tree (#ThursdayTreeLove)

Well, I had heard of heritage structures, heritage walks, heritage conservation and so on but a heritage tree was something unique. Come to think of it why not considering that some trees live for hundreds of years... 

In a perfect coincidence, my tree for the day is the Pilu or Salvadora persica which I have seen in the lawns of the Qutub Minar in Delhi. Our guide told us that this tree is really really old and the tree trunk showed its age. It belongs to the Salvadoraceae family and is also called Meswak. 
Pilu, Salvadora, qutub minar
There are several of these in the complex so do take a while to spot and admire then if you do visit Qutub Minar. They have gnarled trunks with elliptic to oblong leaves with entire margins and arranged oppositely on the stems. We were lucky to see the fruits that were really beautiful glassy looking red globule like structures. 

26 October 2017

Falling Stars (#ThursdayTreeLove)

October, Night blooming, Millingtonia
This is the time of year in Pune when the beauty of morning walks is enhanced many fold due to the haunting sweet fragrance of the Indian Cork Tree aka 'Buccha' (बु च्च ). The roads are carpeted with waxy tube like flowers every morning which demand us to look up at the tree. I never tire of seeing the inflorescence which looks like falling stars!! Notice the flowers in the accompanying images!! 

Millingtonia, Akash chameli, Pune

Universally known as Millingtonia hortensis of the Bignoniaceae family this tree grows straight up and fairly tall. In fact, it grows in many parts of India so many of you will easily recognise this species if not the name of the tree. The genus Millingtonia is in honour of the English botanist Thomas Millington and Buccha is the only species of the genus.
They are night blooming and are at their most fragrant in the night and early mornings. I have not seen fruit formation in my city but I am told that fruits do form in Mumbai - I guess the pollinator insects choose to stay away from here ;-)