Yet, the flower had some more mystery for me. It was pointed out to me as a bottle-brush flower and so I googled for bottle brush flowers. Of course there were a lot of results, but none of them matched the flower I had seen. They were close, but not an exact match and that was gnawing away at me. It was only over this weekend that, thanks to Dr. Bhanumathi of the MNS that I learnt that I was way off: the bottle-brush flower belongs to a completely different genus altogether and this one was closer to the touch-me-nots rather than bottle-brushes. In fact, it is sometimes called the sickle-bush and is considered a pest, because it is very hardy and its seeds can lie dormant for up to a year. In some parts of the world, unchecked growth of this plant has caused large tracts of agricultural land to become unfit for cultivation.
After getting to know all that, I guess it is good thing that I haven't seen it too often - I will now be happy for us to enjoy the beauty of this flower in small doses!