Mumbai

Mumbai Summer flowers

10:47 AM

As much as I hate Summer in Mumbai, there is one thing I actually enjoy: The flowers. This is the time of the year where you are guaranteed to see the most tree in blooms and a riot of colour in every gardens.
My neighbourhood is a really green one, and we are blessed with many pretty and some very fragrant blooms, be it in trees, shrubs or ornamental in flower beds.

This year, I decided to go take random snaps of flowers in my area and compile them into a blog post.  This post is picture heavy, and represent a small percentage of everything that blooms within a walking distance of my home. And because I have a curious mind, I used the website "Flowers of India" to help me identify them. Though, let's be fair, I already knew the name of quite a few.

Honk Kong Orchid tree

This tree is also commonly known as "Camel foot tree" because of the shape of its leaves which look like the print a camel's hoof would leave on the ground. It starts blooming heavily in March and by April end the blooms are scarce and the tree lost most of it's leaf. It's large brilliant purple flowers look like orchids.

Purple passion flower

You may remember a different version from this picture on my "Key to Success" post. The choice was anything but accidental for that post considering passion is the key. 
This pretty and rather stunning flower blooms on the fence of my apartment complex in company of a pretty ornamental pea plant (no pictures of that one, sorry). Whether this particular Passion vine gives or ever gave fruit, no idea. 

Heliconia Flowers

This one is a cousin of the more famous "Bird of Paradise" and is found in many gardens in my area, some are bright orange, and some are a lighter shade like the ones growing in our apartment complex. 

Hibiscus

This is probably the one flower you will recognise even if you don't know anything about flowers in India. They come in many sizes, shape and even a wider range of colours, from deep red to completely white. This pretty orange bloom was found in my apartment complex garden, and was a particularly huge specimen.

Peacock flowers

These pretty little flowers are apparently related to the gulmohar flower, but bloom year round (unlike  said cousin who blooms only in May). There is a whole row of them planted in a park near my place, some are red-orange while others are a bright yellow. This is one of the plant I had to identify with the site "Flowers of India". I guess the name comes from the pistil which looks like a peacock tail. 

Queen Crape Myrtle

This stunning flower is apparently also known as the "Pride of India". It grows on a tree and during the blooming season of April-May, it sheds flowers daily carpeting the ground with these star shaped beauties. There is a whole row of them growing in my street in pink and purple hues. This is how the tree looks like: 

Powder puff flower

This cute and delicate looking flower pretty much blooms year round and it's buds look like a small mass of coiled filaments that suddenly open into these graceful "puffs". To me they look more like an artist's paint brush though. 

Spider lilies

This is a particularly fragrant lily that blooms year round in most parks in my area. During the rainy season, Ishita and I love searching for the "Spider lily caterpillars". The remaining of the year, we stick our noses in them to smell their sweet scent. The term spider probably comes from the long white "tentacles" which look like spider legs. 

Sita Ashok flower

This plant is also known as the "Sorrow less tree" and usually has orange to deep red flowers, but the one growing in our apartment complex garden has hot pink flowers instead. Once upon a time I had one growing in a pot. It was my pride as it was one of the very few plants that didn't die under my notorious "brown thumbed" care. It moved from our rooftop apartment in Bangalore to Navi Mumbai, Bangalore, and Mumbai again. It died mysteriously a year after we shifted in the flat we currently live in. 

This is all for now, I have quite a few other pictures of flowers I could not identify yet, and there are all the ones I have no picture of to share : Frangipani flowers, Copper pod trees, Amaltas flowers, African tulip trees, yellow bell flowers, and of course the gulmohar trees which have now just started to bloom and will look like they are on fire within 2-3 weeks. And, let's not forget the bougainvilleas (one of which is battling the brown thumb syndrome on my balcony).

18 comments

  1. Anonymous3:06 PM

    The Hibiscus flower has medicinal properties. If you rub the dark red coloured flower on a bald patch on the head, it stimulates hair growth. The really dark red ones are used in the garland of Goddess Kali.

    The two most common trees found in Delhi are Palash tree with its bright red flowers. These flowers are also used for Holi colours and ofcourse Amaltas with its yellow colour flowers. Flower and fruits trees are plenty in Delhi thanks to the British.

    However, if you want to see flowers then you have to visit Delhi during Spring time when the Mughal garden are open. Mughal garden is the garden in the President's House.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MTHq0p7NBs

    Apple

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    1. Even more well known than the hair growth thing, hibiscus is known for its relaxing properties and is often found in fruit infusions, not only because it gives a nice red hue to the fruit tea, but because it can lower blood pressure. It is present in a wide variety of these evening teas in Switzerland as we usually drink a cup of "tea-less tea" before bedtime.

      https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/hibiscus-tea.html

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    2. Anonymous7:27 PM

      It is great that you took time off to click these flowers. These days people are not bothers if Palash, Amaltash or Gulmohar is in full bloom. My most abiding memory of a flower from my childhood is a tiny flower called Harsingar in Hindi and Shiuli in Bengali. It is called Night Jasmine. Its smell is most enchanting. Its fragrance meant that Durga Pooja is round the corner. In the morning you could see the carpet of white flowers in the garden. The smell is actually out of the world. The juice of the tree was used for deworming if I am not wrong.


      https://ahometherapist.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/tree-of-the-month-har-singar-the-night-flowering-jasmine/

      Apple

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    3. When I was a kid in Switzerland, the school put a strong emphasis on being aware of the environment around you. I can't even remember how many day long field trips we had to go look at plants, trees and animals in our neighbourhood, equipped with books and note pads to write about what we found. We also had a week long field trip a year in the mountains to either go hiking or skiing and learn about Swiss Alpine fauna and flora, including going out at night to spot fox and rabbits pug marks and id their poops.

      With that in mind, my paying attention to flowers around me is pretty much second nature, it's been drilled into me since my first year of elementary school :-)

      I haven't seen this night Jasmine in my neighbourhood, but I do remember it's intoxicating smell from Switzerland. Someone in my neighbourhood grew it in the Summer months, and I would find excuses to go for an evening stroll that would take me past it and inhale deeply :-)

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    4. Anonymous10:42 AM

      Talking about flowers, I am reminded about a beautiful Hindi poem which I read in my childhood, "Pushp Ki Abhilasha" (the longings of a flower). The poet imagines if a flower could speak what would it say.

      "I do not desire to be stuck in the hair of celestial nymph;
      I do not want to be part of a lover's garland to entice his beloved;
      I do wish to be thrown on the dead bodies of emperors;
      I do not desire to climb on the heads of gods and brag about my good fortune;
      Oh Gardener, pluck me and throw me on the path which is used by those brave hearts who willing to sacrifice their lives for the motherland"

      Here is a video of that poem

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd984SSjR5w

      Apple

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  2. I have a 12 ft x 12 ft high wall of "raat ki rani" or night blooming jasmine in my yard. It lets out a honey almond scented blast at around 7 pm that gets a bit toothpaste-y like wintergreen as the night progresses. Night blooming jasmine is used for funerals in the southern US where my dad is from, the fragrance is so strong it will mask the stench of a corpse in tropical heat.
    I'm surprised crape myrtles aren't planted more often in India, they are a native tree & quite pretty year round with their shiny leaves, pale bark, and pretty blossoms. I've seen more crape myrtles in my native California than in India.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The first time I heard of crape myrtle was from my American friends and the first time I saw it in India is right here in my neighbourhood. It is such a pretty tree that I wonder why it isn't planted more widely myself. As you said, it is a native tree after all.

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  3. Wow! These are just beautiful!! You are sure blessed to live in such a beautiful area!

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    1. Thank you :-) I love nature, and when we moved to Mumbai, my condition was that we move in an area that has a lot of greenery and open space. I easily go crazy if I have to live in a concrete jungle.

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  4. Oh my goodness. Those are incredible! I didn't know such beautiful flowers existed.

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    1. I've been living in India 12 years going on 13 and it still amazes me. These pictures I took are just a small sample of what is in bloom in my area at the moment. I'll never get tired of looking at all these pretty flowers.

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  5. Tropical flowers are stunning! I love the bright colors and unique shapes.

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    1. They fascinate me really. I really never get tired of what's blooming in my neck of the wood. I grew up in Switzerland where the brightest coloured wild flowers are poppies. To get colours we had to go buy cut flowers or get the potted garden variety :-)

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  6. Okay, the Purple Passion Flower both terrifies and exhilarates me!

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    1. I know what you mean :-) I feel the same way.

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  7. It's wonderful seeing pictures of the beauty in (for me) far off and exotic places. I think I liked the spider lilies best - so delicate looking.

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    1. And those spider lilies have a wonderful smell too, how I wish I could share their sweet smell on the blog.

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    2. And those spider lilies have a wonderful smell too, how I wish I could share their sweet smell on the blog.

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