With its formal, often symmetrical landscaping and its many straight avenues lined with a single tree species — such as the mast tree avenue between the Queen’s and King’s statues — Cubbon Park cannot compete with Lal Bagh in terms of ecological wealth. The rambling botanical gardens is by far the naturalist’s preferred haunt, drawing an impressive diversity of birds and reptiles. Be that as it may, some of Cubbon Park’s flowering trees are as iconic as its monuments.

The pink cassia that canopies the king Edwards’ statue, the yellow tabebuia in front of the High Court and the large bamboo grove, have for instance, each found depiction in the late Rumale Channabasavaiah’s watercolours. The unmissable deep pink tabebuia outside central library is among the first to bloom in the city. The park also happens to have city’s biggest casuarina and one of the oldest silver oaks, near the tennis pavilion.

According to the Horticulture Department, the park has 6,000 species of trees and plants within its 200 acres.

Not surprisingly, an informal survey conducted a decade ago found no less than 50 species of butterflies in the park — a third of the number documented in the city.

Making way for lawns?

Future plans for Cubbon Park appear to focus on manicuring the park further, curiously, in order to increase security. Creating lawns could help protect against theft and chain snatchers, besides enhancing its beauty, M. Jagadeesh, Deputy Director of Horticulture of Cubbon Park told The Hindu.

“Over the last three years, we have created 60 acres of lawns lined with canna beds. We plan to clear more jungle area and create lawns in their place,” he said, adding that the project aims at both safety and aesthetics.

He plans also to extend the security fencing from Hudson Circle to U.B. City.