P K Datta,
a Naturalist by choice
having planted more than 1150 trees so far.
Recall your childhood spent hiding behind Gulmohar’s trunks and climbing its stronger branches, plucking the red flowers, dismantling the flower buds to make spooky nail extensions, anthers in lock-fighting, to simply have the flowers in hands.
This flamboyant flame tree continually inspires the poets, artists and everyone in love with any form of art. Poems’ celebrating its flaming glory to painters reliving the scarlet moments in vivid strokes, this flaming flower holds and beholds many untold stories. Gulmohar jo tumhara naam hota … remember the lines of the famous song from yester years. The nature has personified the song into reality at different locations in Dwarka replete with scarlet colour flowers and the one that prompted me to write about is clearly visible at Panchsheel Apartments in its two variants, scarlet and red and is not a common site and has not been utilized as an “avenue tree” in Dwarka except for its density with a row of them outside the boundary wall of Ashoka and Kaveri Apartments and isolated at some other locations.
With public minds worrying about the difficult times ahead in view of the on-setting scorching summer Gulmohar flowers uplift the spirits with their vibrance and the energy through its scarlet colour and enliven the morale to bear the brunt of heat to follow in the coming days. Come April and Gulmohar is the first amongst trees to show its bloom which lasts in the first round upto middle of June and then sprouting again during monsoon to be followed by flowering of the beautiful Amalltas and Jarul.
Nothing is more uplifting than the sight of a scarlet colored flowers during rainy weather. It brings in the cheer at the fag end of summer. When the skies start to hold the clouds, the winds begin to cool and climate remains sultry, the gulmohar petals unfold brightly on the trees. Gulmohar flowers announce the monsoon in wait. Its colors are a promise of good times to come. A respite from heat, a relief from drought, its bright colors symbolize life and the vibrancy it promises.
Did you ever notice a wonderful sight and smell after the rain, dampened earth and the wet petals of Gulmohar flowers strewn glorifying their fall at the feet of humanity trodden by the soles and tyres passing over them, smiling wryly brazenly lie hundreds of scarlet lives but bring everything around to life. Someone deeply fascinated by the tree wonderfully wrote, “High on trees, low on bush, and even when they wither and fall, Gulmohar flowers bring in color burst wherever they are” very thoughtfully reminding one of the famous childhood poem “The Leaf Treader”.
If you cherish for a better feeling and enjoy the color therapy at work and usher in a lot of hope and cheerfulness afford yourself the sight of bright Gulmohar flowers and green leaves it has.
In India where this tree is indispensible for both humans and animals, a herbal remedy for rheumatism, flatulence, anti-inflammation, to psychosomatic medicinal uses, its uses are plenty.
Gulmohar’s reds are the colors for Highly individualistic, its flaming hues continue to inspire photographers, artists and fashion designers. For the eco-friend bandwagon, there are attempts to extract natural dye from these flowers. It is believed that the stamens of Delonix regia have a potent pigment that imparts colors to some vegetables and fruits such as bell peppers, saffron, corn, etc. Scientists in India have succeeded in their attempts to extract natural dyes from different parts of gulmohar flower by combining them with other organic substances such as turmeric and alum. It is only a matter of time that the reds of our clothes would be powered by the gulmohars.
Gulmohar is a low-maintenance tree and an ideal choice for lining the roads, avenues, gardens and parks. Because of its use for ornamental purpose, Gulmohar contributes in environmentalist’s efforts related to soil conservation, reforestation of difficult sites, soil improvement, and in protecting the footings of rivers and channel banks.
If you are wanting to plant a new tree in your garden, backyard or line the avenue – think of Gulmohar tree. Take care of the sapling, and as it grows it needs less/no maintenance.