Have you ever noticed the liberal sprinkling of bright lemon yellow dotting the city’s streets and parks this time of the year? No points for guessing that it’s Amaltas. And for that matter, have bunches of Gulmohar colouring the summer sky in hues of crimson, red and even light orange caught your eye?
Mind you, Amaltas and Gulmohar are just two of the swathes of colour that can be witnessed around this time of the year. Contrary to general perception about summer being a dry and hot season, this is the season when nearly every area of the Capital witnesses a range of flowering trees in full bloom.
Subhash Chandra, former director (horticulture) of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), says, “Summer flowering of trees in Delhi is very special with Amaltas, Gulmohar, Jarul (Pride of India), Barna, Plumerias, Kanakchampa, Sita Ashok and Ashok competing with each other in adding colour and joy to an otherwise dull, hot summer.”
But have you noticed?
Even if you are not someone who cares about the carbon footprint, cycling on the city’s road, especially early in the morning can be a good opportunity to observe these trees. Says Nalin Sinha, founder of the Delhi Cycling Club, “While cycling, you discover lots of things which otherwise you might miss.”
If you don’t want to cycle, you can enjoy these blooming beauties while waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. If you are lucky to have a driver — or are in a bus — just look around to spot this abundance of colour in nature.
Nandita Das, who travels seven km daily to work, says, “I capture flowering trees often in my mobile phone and share it with my friends on Facebook. I feel, we Delhiites are lucky as compared to other big cities.”
The wide roads and parks in the NDMC area throw up colourful surprises every few metres. The roads and parks maintained by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), too, have ample colour at this time of the year.
Pradip Krishen, the author of Trees of Delhi, a wonderful field guide about the Capital’s green wealth, says, “Like canaries in a mineshaft, one had expected the city’s trees to become early casualties in this dreadful unfolding of cause and effect. That this did not happen is a tribute to Delhi’s civic authorities. This is no small achievement in the face of an intense hunger for land.”