Spring spark awaited to set the Flame of the Forest aglow in Adilabad woods

One of the few moduga trees which have started flowering near Utnoor in Adilabad district.

One of the few moduga trees which have started flowering near Utnoor in Adilabad district.   | Photo Credit: S. Harpal Singh

The unusually longer period of rainfall, and the equally abnormal warm winter are the causes for spring’s delay, aver botanists

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” exclaimed the great English romantic poet, P.B. Shelley. That was almost 150 years ago when nature and weather were unspoilt, and seasons changed in time. Global warming and climate change were yet to happen.

It is high time the Moduga or Palash (Butea monosperma) trees bore the resplendent reddish or orange coloured flowers, commonly known as the Flame of the Forest, indicating the arrival of spring. The season associated with romance, however, has been delayed at least by a month as is evident from the delay in flowering of the Moduga and other trees in the forests.

Late blooming

The unusually longer period of rainfall and the equally unusual warm winter have delayed the spring season in the State, especially in northern parts this year, according to experts. “The monsoon extended till November, and the span of winter was shorter,” opined S. Ram Reddy, Professor Emeritus, Department of Botany, Kakatiya University, Warangal, as he pointed out the phenomena which possibly impacted the arrival of spring.

“Yes, it is photoperiodism, or the response of plants to seasonal changes in the length of the day,” E.N. Murthy Associate Professor, Department of Botany, Satavahana University, Karimnagar, concurred as he talked of the unsual delay in flowering of trees like Moduga. “Sporadic rains, long period of cloudy weather and higher temperature during winter are responsible for Moduga trees still not flowering,” he added.

Honey due

The delay in arrival of spring will also result in delay in collection of honey by tribal hunters. Honey bees depend mainly on the Palash flowers for extraction of nectar.

“There could be a delay in production of honey owing to weather changes but we are expecting a bumper yield of the forest produce this season,” the Divisional manager of Girijan Cooperative Corporation (GCC) at Utnoor, L.K. Ramanandam predicted. “We have planned to start supplying honey in the shape of narrow elongated satches called twigs to Ashram School children in old undivided Adilabad district,” he revealed of the plan that depends on collection of the minor forest produce.

The arrival of honey at the GCC purchase centres at Adilabad, Utnoor, Ichoda, Asifabad, Kagaznagar, Jannaram, and Kamareddy has been steadily declining over the last few years. From the 515 quintals purchased by GCC in 2017-18 it had gone down to 338 quintals in 2018-19 and 160 quintals in 2019-20, according to the GCC DM.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 11:13:53 PM |

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