10 May 2024

Cool Green (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today I have a tree that most would know.. folks from India at least. 

Its the Tamarind (Tamarindus indica of the Fabaceae family. It drops all its leaves in December or January and bursts into new foliage soon after. In the intense summer heat, the Tamarind flaunts fresh green leaves that offer a cool respite to any and everyone. 

The feathery leaves are very pretty as are the yellow flowers that appear once it rains. I am told the flowers make an excellent chutney (though I have not yet tried it). The pods soon develop and its sour flesh is widely used in Indian cooking. 

Tamarind is called Chincha in Marathi and Imli in Hindi. It makes a wonderful Bonsai but needs lot of care when it is repotted. 

Here it is.


Cool shade under the fresh green leaves!

This a common roadside tree in Pune but also seen in home gardens or parks. We have some beautiful huge old Tamarind trees that I use as landmarks! 

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from all over the world. Better still, join in!

06 May 2024

Cigar Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

Just as we were crossing the road, I meet this glorious Cigar Tree (at least that's what I think it is!!). 

A wonderful tree that literally stopped me in my tracks! And it happened as I was at the Zebra crossing . This was in London but rest assured, I had sufficient time to stay safely back at the traffic signal and appreciate this tree. 

I just had to wait and capture the lovely foliage and long green pods almost like festoons decorating it.

Catalpa speciosa belongs to the Bignonicaceae family (same as my previous tree Waras) and is said to be native to certain parts of the US. 

Its a pleasure to know a place for its trees besides usual attractions like museums, monuments and so on.

I am sure you will agree with me!!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

18 April 2024

Waras (ThursdayTreeLove)

 Here is tree that I have seen on our hills in Pune. There are only a few that grow in the city so I always assumed it was a species that preferred some elevation.

I was proved wrong when we did a few long drives around Pune into the interiors (to see flowering ofcourse!!) . I saw plenty of these lovely stately trees in the plains as well.

I am referring to the Waras or Heterophragma quadriloculare of the Bignonicaceae family. 

It has pretty white flowers with frilly petals and the tree looks majestic when in bloom. 

Many of the native species that grow in and around Pune bloom in Feb/Mar and April. 

It needs great determination to go out in the heat but the joy of seeing and identifying the tree is infinite!! 

For some strange reason, I was unable to find a local name in English for this tree. 

Here it is!

Compound leaves

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

29 March 2024

Red (ThursdayTreeLove)

 After the Yellow Bombax on the last edition of TTL it is vital that I post the usual red Bombax that is mostly seen around Pune.

Here it is:

Bombax ceiba aka Kate Sawar / Shyamli/ Seemal/Silk Cotton Tree of the Malvaceae family. 

From a distance, one can only see red spots on a bare tree in a bare brown countryside. As one moves closer the red becomes darker and a lot of bird and bees/insect activity is seen on the tree. The large flowers are not pretty by general standards. They are almost cup shaped and have plenty of nectar in it which attracts monkeys as well. 

17 March 2024

Tree Drive (ThursdayTreeLove)

My title suggests i would be writing about some tree plantation drive.

But that is far from the truth.

Recently, our Tree lovers Whatsapp group was swamped with photos of a Yellow Seemal. Thats right ... Bombax ceiba with yellow flowers. It looked wonderful and is rare in this part of the world.

Like everyone else on the group, I too wanted to see it. 

The only problem was the location was over 60kms away. 

I got major FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when more folks visited the tree and shared the images. 

Luckily for me, dear husband agreed to accompany me and he drove all the way. 

I packed some sandwiches and we set off early to avoid heat. Surprisingly the road was superb and I ignored all other trees enroute. (That was on the return journey and for another post!! :-)

It was a joy to see the tree at the precise spot, standing alone and in full bloom . The road was lonely, and locals drove or walked past without a second glance. I would like to think they had already had enjoyed the blooms as flowering had been going on for a few weeks at least. 

Without much ado.. here is the Yellow Seemal aka Kate Sawar in Marathi or Silk Cotton Tree. 

07 March 2024

Bare (ThursdayTreeLove)

    The Peepal (Ficus religiosa) are almost leafless presently in Pune. However the bark colour and peculiar fluting of the trunk and branch ramification make it easier to identify this tree.

    This is a massive Peepal standing alone in a parking lot. The ramifications are superb...we try to achieve this in our bonsai (and it's quite difficult to do so). 

    This tree just waiting to burst into leaves looked especially attractive to me as I was meeting a few of my batchmates after 40 years!! A unique date (a leap year) added to the surreal quality of our meet up! 

    Its great to meet college friends, relive memories and enjoy each others achievements. 

    I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in.


    21 February 2024

    Theobroma (ThursdayTreeLove)

     We meet a product of this plant quite often.. we consume it often in most age groups and for some it is a prohibited joy. We have it as  a treat/gift it/ relish it on the cheat day of a diet and so on...

    You may have guessed.. I am referring to the Chocolate.. which is made from Cocoa beans that grow on the Theobroma cacao trees of the Sterculiaceae family. 

    It is an introduced species in India but seems to be very happy in our southern states where it is widely cultivated and we are now a significant producer of Cocoa beans. These images are from Munnar where it is a common sight. 

    The evergreen tree is well branched with shiny green leaves. Its small whitish flowers and grow directly on the trunk and thereafter it grow into a large fruit that's yellow when ripe. 

    Cauliflory - refers to flowers that grow directly on the trunk

    Tiny fruit visible

    A small tree that stands out in the lush green countryside

    The fruit needs some processing to extract chocolate as we know it. There are several chocolate making units in Munnar but I could not see their extraction process. 
    So that would be for another visit and post!
    :-) :-)

    Next time you eat chocolate, do think of this flower and tree with the unique sounding name!

    I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world.
    Better still, join in!