Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spectacular tabebuias

Spectacular tabebuias

The Hindu

They not only enchant the onlooker but also find a place in `Blossoms of Bangalore'

BANGALORE: Bangalore earned its first sobriquet of "Garden City" in mid-19th century, after two of its famous landmarks, Lalbagh (1856) and Cubbon Park (1870), came into being. A good number of flowering trees, both exotic and indigenous, ensured that the name became a well-deserved one. But the one tree that delights and enchants the onlooker even to this day is the tabebuia, which paints the town yellow and pink every March-April.

Says S. Narayana Swamy, Assistant Director of Horticulture, in charge of Vidhana Soudha's gardens, "the tabebuias, also called the New World Trumpet tress, came from South America and the West Indies." The tabebuias even dominate the book, "Blossoms of Bangalore", written by former Chief Secretary the Late T.P. Issar. He notes that 10 species of the tree are acclimatised in Bangalore. The European curators of Lalbagh, William New and John Cameron, introduced them here as exotic flowering trees in the late 19th century.

The seasonal cycle of blooms of the tabebuia makes it conspicuous. Mr. Narayana Swamy says the blooming begins after the end of the rainy season. The first to bloom is the species called Tabebuia avellanedae. As the winter sets in during November, the flowers emerge in singles, and in a few days, all the leaves are shed, making the tree look like a forlorn skeleton. But two or three days later, the buds burst open, and the deep pink, bell-shaped flowers make a pretty picture in the misty mornings.


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