It’s Sunday and time for Today’s Flowers! Last week I posted pictures of the blooms of the Silk Cotton tree. Another vibrant colour in our landscape comes from the Indian Coral tree or the Corky Coral tree. The botanical name is Erythrina stricta . It’s a medium-sized thorny tree with eye-catching blooms. Although there are several varieties of Erythrina, this one is the most widely grown here.
I had been meaning to go out to the city’s outskirts, scour the skyscapes, and click away at lusher and fuller trees because my neighbour had severely pruned his Coral tree. It’s nothing like what it was last year. But all that changed when I saw these birds going from flower to flower, twittering, no, shrieking with pleasure!
Although the blooms have no smell, they attract bees, wasps, and a host of birds. The blooming period is from January to late March/early April. The spiky blooms look most attractive because the leaves fall before the flowers come. Once the blooming period is over the leaves fill out and the tree goes back to being its plain old self.
Because of its quick growth and suitable bark, this tree is also used as a support for pepper and grape vines. During the summer, the leafy branches provide shade for the vines. In winter, the leaves shed and the vines get the required sunshine. Other uses of the tree is that it is grown as a hedge in villages. The thorns keep the cattle away. The leaves are also used as fodder and the light timber is also used as the wood is durable.
As soon as the mynahs were done, the Asian Pied Starlings landed. The feeding is fast and quick, rapidly moving from bloom to bloom.
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My thanks to the TF team- Santilli-Denise-Pupo-Sandy Carlson.