Monday, September 22, 2008

No bottle cleaning needed

It is surprising how something remains un-noticed for a long, long time and then, all on a sudden, you start seeing it almost everywhere you look. This flower was also one such. I don't remember having ever noticed it until a few weeks ago, while on a walk to the Nanmangalam forest. It looked very nice and it seemed to be an ideal plant that could be grown along boundary walls of houses. Since then, I've spotted it in a couple of other places and for the life of me I can't figure out how I could have missed this flower.

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!


bitingmidge said...

Thank you for the detailed background! It's an interesting story, perhaps I'll post a picture of a bottlebrush flower in a week or two!

Sunshine Coast Daily - Australia

Shantaram said...

>> Midge>> Thanks! Many results of the google search pointed to Australia, so will look forward to your photo and story!

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Shantaram said...

>> Chinna>> Thank you for stopping by, and the comment. Will surely look up your blogs.