13 flowers to make you love South India

If you ask me what would South India’s most defining experience be; my answer will always be this: flowers.

I grew up in a coastal city in South India that meant all annoyances of summers were forgotten in unpredictable thundershowers.The blooms that sprouted soon after; epitomized the opulence of nature.

As suburban homes and their surroundings flourish with colorful blossoms all around; enjoy this naturally occurring floral show of South India.

1. Marigolds

Its amber hue is as deep as the evening sky during summer. Popping out from its green foliage, a cluster of wholesome blooms bend slender green stalks under their weight. Growing out of pots; some marigolds are fresh and others more wilted bunches, but the color makes the encounter with these marigolds so dreamy.

In a riot of amber and golden orange, marigolds strike a pose!
In a riot of amber and golden orange, marigolds strike a pose!
Marigold flower in a pot at home
Orange swirls of fresh marigolds

2. Yellow flame tree

Elysian fields needn’t exist only in Hellenic culture. Down south in coastal India, flame trees thrive in the humid air and often bring dull streets to life with its sunny yellow colored flowers.

Flowers of a yellow flame tree
Sunshine on a twig

A walk through any South Indian  locality – planted with flame trees mirrors an inkling of heaven on Earth.

3. Jasmine

White jasmine flowers in South India
Blooming soon

The South Indian jasmine, nicknamed, malli, has an elevated status among other flowers and nobody is immune to its intoxicating pull.

4. Champak

Fish markets in South India often dedicate a corner to sell flowers. Champak flowers barely conceal the fishy smell in markets but the champak’s heady scent, lingers in neighborhoods, dotted with Magnolia trees.

A single bloom of the heady champak magnolia
A single bloom of the heady champak magnolia

5. Mango flowers

People in South India will often refer to summer as mango season. While mango leaves enjoy a divine status in South Indian culture; mango flowers are important to South Indian farmers; who depend on mangoes for their livelihood. If mango flowers don’t bloom; the mango tree wont produce fruits.

South Indian Mango flowers have no other purpose except to bear fruits.
South Indian mango flowers have no other purpose except to bear fruits

6. Golden rain tree

Life goes on under overhanging bowers of golden yellow flowers. South India’s busy traffic leaves swathes of dust on these delicate flowers but they manage to shine in their unnatural urban surroundings. The flowers find purpose in Telengana State’s floral festival. A floral procession takes place to please Bathuk-Amma, the South Indian state’s mother goddess.

Golden Showertree flowers hanging in a bunch
Raining in yellow drops

7. Bougainvillea

The Bougainvillea traveled from afar to spread and grow from one southern hemisphere to another southern region. Strange circumstances landed these South American magenta- bracts – all the way in South India. And, nobody really knows how.

Paper like flowers of pink Bougainvillea
Paper like flowers of pink Bougainvillea

8. Frangipani

Frangipani is a testament to its ever-present simplicity. However, the foot traffic in South India are mostly untrained or busy to notice these wildflowers thriving by pavements and roads in South Indian cities. In smaller neighbourhoods, old people often pluck these flowers to worship deities. In rural south India, some people admire and enjoy their fleeting appeal.

Frangipani flower in white and yellow combination
Double shades of Frangipani

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12 Comments

      1. Even I have a devil’s ivy. Since I keep travelling a lot, decided to go for one that needs less of attention. I read you write up and may be I will add one from that list next. Thanks for the suggestion. Also glad you like my post..,.

        Liked by 1 person

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