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.





Amaltas Tree - Golden Showers in RGIPT campus


A number of Amaltas trees have been planted in RGIPT campus. In 2019 summer, a lone Amaltas tree in full bloom on the easterly facing side of Academic Building-2 is singularly eye-catching in the backdrop of wild lush green ambience. Its golden yellow flowers that droop down in long, chandelier-like inflorescences are truly a beautiful sight. Three numbers of Amaltas trees are also flowering in parking area near Gate-1 of RGIPT.


 

The species 'Cassia fistula' of Amlatas tree is native to the Indian subcontinent and adjacent regions of Southeast Asia. It grows well in dry climates. It is a moderate-sized tree reaching up to 9-10 m in height with an irregular canopy. The leaves are deciduous, 23-46 cm long, and pinnate with three to eight pairs of leaflets. The fragrant flowers are arranged on terminal drooping clusters (inflorescences), often 30-60 cm long. These flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Germination takes place early in rains.

 

 

It is the state flower of Kerala in India. The flowers are of ritual importance in the Vishu festival of Kerala. It is both the national tree and national flower of Thailand.


The Department of Posts, Government of India released Rs. 20 postage stamp of Amaltas on 20 November, 2000.


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


By- DC Tewari, Visiting Faculty
Aug 05, 2019





Kadamba Tree Blooms in RGIPT Campus


For the first time, Kadamba tree (scientific name: Neolamarckia Cadamba) near Gate-1 (parking side) of RGIPT campus has bloomed. This beautiful tree presently laden with scented flowers in dense globe-shaped clusters is very captivating. Flowers in red to orange colour have a sweet fragrance. The English common names of this beautiful tree are burflower-tree, laran, and Leichhardt pine.


 

Generally this tree is known to be quick growing tropical tree reaching up to height of 45 m with a broad umbrella-shaped crown and straight cylindrical bole. The tree looks pleasant with its glossy obate-oblong leaves, often 30cms long and 15 cms wide. The bark of the young tree is grey and smooth but turns rough and fissured upon age. Flowering usually begins when the tree is 4-5 years old. Flowers appear like solid, hairy orange in compact spherical heads of the size of golf balls and comes in great profusion in August.

 

Kadamba tree is mostly used as an ornamental tree. The Kadamba tree features in Indian religions and mythologies. In North India, several legends related to Krishna with this tree especially famous dance of Krishna with Radha under sweet scented shade of Kadamba tree have been represented in miniature paintings. In South India, it is known as "Parvati’s tree".


A postal stamp was issued by Indian Postal Department in 1977 to commemorate this tree.


By- DC Tewari, Visiting Faculty