Different species of the tabebuia bloom at various times of the year
William New and John Cameron, introduced the tabebuias to Bangalore They are ideal for planting in narrow streets and under the cable wires
BANGALORE: Many exotic and indigenous flowering trees have given Bangalore its well-deserved sobriquet "Garden City."
But every tree lover's first love appears to be the tabebuia, whose glorious flowers paint the town yellow come March-April.
In his book, "Blossoms of Bangalore," the former Chief Secretary, the late T.P. Issar, noted that 10 species of the tabebuias are acclimatised in Bangalore. The European curators of Lalbagh, William New and John Cameron, introduced the tabebuias as exotic flowering trees in the late 19th century.
Retired forest officer S.G. Neginhal, who orchestrated the second coming of Bangalore as Garden City in the eighties, and has authored three books on trees, says the tabebuias are ideal for planting in narrow streets, and under the cable wires, because they grow to a medium height of 8 metres. They have limited use, other than emblazoning the skyscape with the brilliant yellow that captivates the beholder.
But, the different species of tabebuias flower at different times and so there can be a splash of the "tree of gold" (or pink) at various times in a year.
Assistant Director of Horticulture S. Narayanaswamy has studied the seasonal cycle of blooms.
The blooming begins at the end of the rainy season, and the first to bloom is the T. avellanedae.
November sees the flowers emerge in singles, and in a few days, the leaves are shed. But a couple of days later, the buds burst open, and the deep pink, bell-shaped flowers make misty mornings all the more enchanting.
This is the vision that stops pedestrians in their tracks at Minsk Square or Basaveshwara Circle on many a wintry afternoon.
The T. argentea pops up pertly in the first week of January.
The T. spectabilis brings its dazzling flowers in a spectacular display in the first week of March, but the glory lasts only a week.
Then the T. rosea takes a turn, as its semi pink and white flowers make a riveting pink-white green canopy since this one does not shed the leaves.
The T. rosea grandiflora is the grandest of all, and it splashes out in light pink after all its sisters have gone offstage. But only a few of these trees remain in Lalbagh and Cubbon Park.
March-April is the also the time of the glassy pink T.pallida to join the carnival of colours.
A solitary T. donnell smithii, is found in Raj bhavan. It is a native of Mexico with glistening yellow trumpet-shaped flowers.