I never knew yellow is my favorite color until I saw amaltas (Cassia fistula) some 8-9 years ago. It might be Summer of 2004. A friend—he was three years senior to me—introduced me to these beautiful yellow flowers. We were students of Ayurvedic medicine and medicinal plants were a part of our syllabus—we often used to discuss about them. I have always been fascinated with plants and their Latin names since.
The other day, about a month ago, I was quite enchanted with yellow. I was in the office and wherever I could see, I was finding just yellow. There was something yellow everywhere I had never noticed before. Even the calendar page with a detergent ad had a yellow lemon on it. I severely yearned to find an amaltas that day.
I wandered all around the area near my former hostel. I saw many amaltas trees, but not a single one was blooming. Perhaps, it was too early to expect gold.
I saw this amaltas tree yesterday while coming back from office—very near to my place. It was after sunlight hours, my camera has no flash, the place was too crowded, and the next day was a Sunday—I postponed my plans for a few hours. The first thing I did today after getting up was I took my bike and rushed to the place; it would be too crowded after a few hours—it’s a marketplace. I’m quite happy that I’ve made it.
One thing I want to make clear; this is not a photography post. These flowers are just lovely and I love them. I wanted to share them with you all; and preserve their beauty for me if I loss myself somewhere in the future.
1. I don’t like the Latin name of this beautiful tree. Even in English, it’s called purging fistula (courtesy Wikipedia), do we need to connect every yellow thing to purging? And fistula? Shut up! Yellow is beautiful.
2. Sanskrit name for this tree is Aaragwadh (आरग्वध), which can be literally translated as something that kills the diseases. Its pods are used as mild laxative (another thing to relate with purgation).
3. Though amaltas is seen frequently here in Nagpur, I had never seen it before coming here. It is not found around my native place, some 300 km from here.
4. I noted an interesting point about this tree on a Google group eFloraIndia. If you try to plant this tree in the middle of your lawns hoping to get a beautiful bloom during the summer, you will meet with a failure. The dry, hot weather of summer helps this tree to get and maintain this bloom. Strange!
5. The tree pictured here is the one peeping out of Shree Ayurved College’s compound. For the curious ones, a picture of the whole tree with a view of surrounding area is posted here on Panoramio. Cassia fistula does not grow too big. It grows up quickly, but remains always a medium-sized tree.
6. I think I should try to find some more Summer flowers of Nagpur. The post about Gulmohar (Delonix regia) on of the brighter side was too short.