Saturday, April 4, 2015

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Caesalpina Phulcherima

Couple of years ago, I came across a close up photograph of a Sun bird perched on the branch of this flowering shrub.The commonplace ornamental shrub is found in most gardens and one of them is next to my bedroom window.It attracts lots of insect life [bees in particular] and provides a good perch for birds. I have placed pails of water and many birds [including the violent crow] come for a drink and after quenching their thirst spend time on the branches of this tree/shrub. I have watched with pleasure, Sun birds, Warblers,Bulbuls not to speak of Pigeons and Crows. An occasional visitor is a Kite.

I asked around the name and even wrote to the author of the photograph but couldn't get its name. My interest waned and the matter rested there.

Some years later,my friend and fellow golfer,Roger Binny wanted to plant this shrub in his farm and wanted me to collect the seeds or grow some saplings and give him.He too wanted to know the name!

The one person whom I should have asked earlier, but didn't was my wife! She said,' I don't know the English name but in Kannada it is called Ratnagandhi. At last I had a name. Further search showed it to belonging to the family caecalpinacae and the botanical name of the tree is Caesalpina Phulcherima. A tree native to the tropics possibly imported from either south america or Barbados to India. It has the distinction of being the national flower of Barbados.

There is another native name for it. Meese Hoovu. Literal meaning: Moustache flower.Very apt discription, if one looks at it from close quarters.

The saplings that I gave Roger are now full grown flowering shrubs at his farm.

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