Red flowering Tree - Saraca asoca, Ashoka Tree

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raghu ananth

Apr 18, 2008, 2:04:51 PM4/18/08
Saraca asoca, Ashoka Tree
Bangalore .
Kempu Thota (Lal Bagh)
Apr 2008
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribe: Detarieae
Genus: Saraca
Species: S. asoca

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Saraca asoca-AshokaTreeFlower-Bangalore.jpg

vinod kumar gupta

Apr 18, 2008, 2:16:01 PM4/18/08
to raghu ananth,

Stunning shot



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J.M. Garg

Apr 19, 2008, 1:41:23 AM4/19/08
to vinod kumar gupta, raghu ananth,
Extracts from Wikipedia link:

The Ashoka tree (lit., "sorrow-less") is a flowering tree considered sacred throughout India and Sri Lanka where it is found. It is prized for its beautiful foliage and flowers. The Lord Buddha was born under this tree in Lumbini. Also Lord Mahavira renounced the world under the Ashoka tree in Vaishali. The Hindus regard it as sacred, being dedicated to Kama Deva, God of Love. The tree gets a mention in the Ramayana as the Ashoka Vatika (garden of Ashoka trees) where Hanuman first meets Sita.

leaves & flowers in  Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
leaves & flowers in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

The botanical name for the Ashoka Tree is Saraca asoca or Jonesia Ashok. It belongs to the legume family and genus Saraca. One of its varieties is a very handsome, small, erect evergreen tree, with deep green foliage. Its flowers are very fragrant and are bright orange-yellow in color and later turn red. Found in the foothills of central and eastern Himalayas, almost all over the northern plains of India as well as on the west coast of Bombay, its flowering season is around February to April. Another of its variety is larger and highly spreading. The erect variety (which appears like a poplar) is extremely common in the gardens of modern Indian households.

Other names for the Ashoka Tree include: Sita-Ashok, Anganapriya, Asogam, Asokada, Ashopalava, Asok, Ashok, Asoka, Asoka Tree, Asupala, Gandapushpa, Kankelli, Kenkalimara, Thawgabo, Vand ichitrah.

Details & links from Indiantreepix database:
Saraca asoca (Invalid Syn. S. indica) Caesalpiniaceae Sorrowless tree, Sita-Ashok As per my records, I have pictures of its flowering in last of January'07, in Feb'07 & in the middle of March'07 in Kolkata. I saw it flowering profusely today (26/2/08) in Kolkata. Ritesh is regularly watching its beautiful flowers while on the way to office in Mumbai (22/2/08).  In full bloom in Bangalore right now (28/2/08) as per Ranjini Kamath. Profuse flowering at Ashok Van in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai- Kiran ji. 
Trees of Delhi states its flowering in the last week of March, peaking early in April. Beautiful Trees & Shrubs of Calcutta by Sh. R.K. Chakraverty & S.K.Jain states that it flowers from early spring (Feb.- March) to late spring (Feb.-March). Saraca asoca (Sita-Ashok or Sorrowless tree) - indiantreepix | Google Groups some useful links and Ashoka :-) - indiantreepix | Google Groups


Stunning shot



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vijay kiyawat

Apr 19, 2008, 4:42:03 AM4/19/08
to J.M. Garg, vinod kumar gupta, raghu ananth,
not just india and srilanka; i saw them last month profusely flowering in singapore and thailand. thailand has larger population of these trees than india or singapore. i do not know about srilanka. the reason obviously tis he association with buddha and hindu mythology.
-vijay kiyawat

Anand Kumar Bhatt

May 4, 2008, 5:27:37 AM5/4/08
to vijay kiyawat, J.M. Garg, vinod kumar gupta, raghu ananth,
I stand corrected but Gautam was probably born under a shaal (shorea robusta) tree.

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