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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maple Leaved Bayur Tree

Very recently I was staying with my brother at Coimbatore. I spent a fortnight at his Race Course Road residence. On the very first day, after dinner, I was walking around the colony, just to have a feel. After walking down about 100 feet, I started getting a very pleasant sweet smell in the air. Soon my nostrils got filled with that fragrance. Soon I could discover the tree laden with beautiful flowers which was emanating that queer smell. I would have attempted to take a photograph to capture the bloom, though I knew the built in flash was not adequate to get a good shot. Therefore I decided to return in the morning. When I reached the tree the next day morning, I was totally disappointed for all the flowers were lying on the ground. I understood that they are nocturnal in nature. Some how I could locate one which was still clinging to the branch as if to oblige me. I lost no time and could get a reasonably good picture after zooming in.

The white flower is quite large and with which I was not acquainted with. I asked the watchman guarding the gate about its name. He said it is “Venangu” in Tamil. Thereafter I consulted with my knowledgeable friends over telephone but none could help me to augment my own knowledge. I was also lacking the facility of transmitting the photograph over the mobile (Cell) phone.

When I reached Chennai I continued my exploration. Some amount of googling (flowers of India site) helped me to resolve the problem of identification.  It was the Maple leaved Bayur Tree (Pterospermum acerifolium). Incidentally it is a native of India and Myanmar. In Hindi it is known as Kanak Champa, Muchkund or Padm Pushp. In Bengali it is Rosukunda. In Sikkim it is known as Hathipaila. The tree has red wood which is used to make planks.