Indian Coral Trees Decorate RGIPT campus

DC Tewari, Visiting Faculty

It’s a beautiful season, onset of spring. The North Western part of RGIPT campus is perked up with the appearance of stunningly gorgeous, red flowers. As we move towards the entrance gate (RHS) of RGIPT hostel campus, an array of around 20 Indian coral trees in bloom welcome us. The bright crimson red blossoms are accompanied by reddish brown pods.



The tree has three diamond shaped leaflets. One can see a variety of birds, babblers, drongo, tailor bird, bulbuls and sun birds visiting these trees and contributing to its pollination. This ornamental tree, enjoys a pride of place amid the flora of RGIPT. The botanical name of indian coral tree is Erythrina variegate and it hails from Faboideae family. The common Hindi name is Pangara and referred as Parijata in Sanskrit texts.

On a pleasant spring morning stray to this part of RGIPT and feast your eyes on the brilliance of nature.

Photo Courtesy: Ankit Pachouri, RGIPT.

Reference: The Book of Indian Trees; K C Sahni, Bombay Natural History Society.

Come Holi: Semul Trees Blossom in RGIPT Campus

As if to celebrate Holi-2019, the festival of colours RGIPT campus too bears a colourful look with seasonal flowers like Kachhnar, Semul and Pangara in full bloom. This article is Semul tree commonly known as Red Silk Cotton tree (Botanical name: Bombax ceiba).

At RGIPT campus, the Semul trees can be found in clusters, one cluster of around 10 trees in between area of residential blocks B1 and B2 which has fully blossomed this season and other cluster of 5 trees on western corner of administrative block.



The Red silk cotton tree when in bloom is a sight to behold. This lofty deciduous tree (Deciduous trees are trees that drop their leaves for part of the year) is capable of reaching 20-40 metres in height. The trunk is straight and the bark is covered with conical prickles up to 1.2 cm long when young which gets sloughed off in older trees. The flowers are brilliant crimson with five petals. The petals are tough and fleshy. The nectar-rich flowers attract insects and birds.

The leaf is composed of 5-7 leaflets arranged like the fingers of the hand. The leaflets are lance shaped (sharp narrow end and pointed like the head of a spear) and smooth and glossy. The central leaflets are longer than those on the periphery.

Almost all parts of the red silk cotton tree find medicinal uses. Most uses are for the treatment of gastrointestinal, skin, gynaecological and urogenital problems, general debility, diabetes etc. The flowers of the Semul tree are also used to prepare eco-friendly colour to play with. Let us preserve this beautiful tree and make the skyline of RGIPT campus more enchanting.

Reference:The Book of Indian Trees; K C Sahni, Bombay Natural History Society.