These fiery spheres behold beauty in May

Visual Treat

The house of Shantha Bai and Sethu Rao in Jayanagar is beckoning nature lovers these days. Beautiful bunches of red-coloured Mayflower has adorned the garden of elderly couple’s residence. The stunning beauty and elegance of bunch of Mayflowers has been mesmerising visitors here.

Even as the colour and elegance of the Mayflower spreads happiness, the timing of the blooming of the flower brings in many surprises on the nature and its cycle. The flower blooms exactly in the first week of May and stays for about 10-12 days before it begins to shrink and finally sheds.

Shantha Bai and Sethu Rao’s house is a host to these wonderful Mayflowers for nearly 10 years now. “People visit on their own to see this rare flower and appreciate its beauty. We also invite our relatives and friends. I have also distributed the tuber to many a households,” says Shantha.

Flowering seeds

According to her, the flowering seeds appear in the end of April. It starts to blossom and grows to full size in a week or so, sometimes exactly on May 1. The leaves of the flowering plant start growing after the flower blossoms. When the flower shrinks, the leaves grow in full length. For the next six months, the leaves stay and finally go dry and shed during the early autumn, she adds.

“Normally, there used to be around 10-12 bunches of Mayflower. But, this year the plant has gave rise to more than 22 bunches. I have never seen so many Mayflowers together,” she told City Herald.

Sethu Rao, a retired director of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore tells that the flowers project towards the sun due to which the bright colour of the flowers gradually fade. Rao is the first person in the country to hold a doctoral degree in Agricultural sciences from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Prior to it, he did his Masters in Science from Columbia University.

Sethu Rao has the credit of guiding the maximum number of PhD scholars. He guided 116 researchers in Agricultural science, a record which is still unmatchable to any other professors. Rao and Shantha Bai couple manage their garden on their own and have grown jackfruit, neem, rose plants and a variety of flowering plants. “I have also grown a plant that brings down sugar levels. It is said that chewing a leaf of this plant helps maintain healthy sugar level in the blood,” Bai informs.

Family legacy

Sethu Rao is the son of M R Krishnamurthy Rao, who worked as assistant engineer with Sir M Visvesvaraya while constructing Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir and Hulikere tunnel near Mandya. The Hulikere tunnel was the first of its kind to be constructed during late 1920’s in South India and the second in India. The tunnel is built amidst huge rocky surface executed meticulously.

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