Tabebuia trees fail to keep the bloom date

Matter of concern

Tabebuia trees fail to keep the bloom date

Tabebuia trees, which mark the onset of summer in Bangalore with their blooming flowers, are limited this time.

Further, some trees have skipped or delayed their blooming cycle. This, according to experts, is because of indiscriminate chopping of trees and climate change. It also means that the tag – Bangalore blooms round the year – is now gradually dying.

Experts says this is primarily because of unplanned felling of trees for various infrastructural projects, increasing heat islands and number of vehicles on road. Another interesting observation is premonsoon showers, which Bangalore received during February, had a direct impact on the blooming pattern in summer. Change in blooming patterns, according to experts, is one of the string testimonies that Bangalore’s ecology is taking a beating due to unplanned growth.

For instance ,Tabebuia impetiginosa, which has pink flowers, usually blooms during February-March, this time bloomed during November-December. This is surprising as it is for the first time, pointed out Prof K Sankara Rao, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc. Tabebuia trees normally bloom simultaneously, but it is not doing so this season. It must have been happening gradually over the years. This time this change and affect is visible. It is also seen that many trees have not yet bloomed or have skipped their normal cycle.

Flowering of Tabebuia serratifolia (yellow flowers) is less this year, compared with the previous years. The same is the case with purple, red and white flowers, he said.Tabebuia trees need certain amount of sunlight and shade every day for a continuous duration like three to four months to bloom. But this is not available in Bangalore now. Shifting seasons, increasing grey spaces and abrupt changes in areas have confused the species and hampered their blooming pattern. This change has been happening over the years but is visible now to people.

All this is also being documented in the book of trees of the City being prepared by the IISc, explained Rao.

These trees were brought to Bangalore by Britishers in early 1900s from across the world, especially Central America, South America, Africa, Australia and other countries. They were planted as avenue trees along roads, because they wanted the City, especially the colonial areas, to bloom and look beautiful through the year.

The biggest loss of these trees can be seen around Cubbon Park, the Vidhana Soudha, near National College Circle, Basavanagudi, Race Course Road and Cantonment areas.

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