Old trees in Ritwik Ghatak Movie (Cloud-Capped Star; 1960)

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Pankaj Oudhia

Jan 14, 2011, 8:31:33 AM1/14/11
to efloraofindia
Dear Group Members,

  I received an interesting query. Please go through it and share your comments.


Pankaj Oudhia

Dear Mr. Oudhia,
I was watching an older Ritwik Ghatak movie (Cloud-Capped Star; 1960), and a
couple of scenes included views of a road flanked by large trees (see attached
screenshot). As you likely know, Ghatak was a Bengali director, and this move
was filmed in West Bengal. I wrote to Dorrie Rosen at the New York Botanical
Garden to see if she could identify the tree from this distant view (and w/o
closeup images of the leaves, etc.). As can be read from the thread of
comments, she was guessing Banyan, but also suggested it could be a Devil tree
(Alstonia scholaris) or Ficus religiosa syn. Urostigma religiosum (sacred Bodhi
tree). Because we don't have close-ups of the foliage, she suggested contacting
an Indian expert. So ... any idea what this tree is? This is mostly out of
curiosity, rather than any scientific need.

Thanks much,
Jim Borowiec

Cloud_Capped_Star trees.jpg

shrikant ingalhalikar

Jan 14, 2011, 9:38:31 AM1/14/11
to efloraofindia
The canopy size shape and branching pattern suggest Rain Tree, Samanea
saman though it is just a guess. Regards, Shrikant
>  Cloud_Capped_Star trees.jpg
> 116KViewDownload

Pankaj Kumar

Jan 14, 2011, 9:52:55 AM1/14/11
to shrikant ingalhalikar, efloraofindia
Does look like Samanea saman. If I had to make one more guess, I would
have said, Delonix regia!


Pankaj Kumar Ph.D. (Orchidaceae)
Research Associate
Greater Kailash Sacred Landscape Project
Department of Habitat Ecology
Wildlife Institute of India
Post Box # 18
Dehradun - 248001, India

Neil Soares

Jan 14, 2011, 12:12:40 PM1/14/11
to efloraofindia, Pankaj Oudhia
Hi Dr. Oudhia,
  Obviously an avenue of Rain trees. A few of these still exist in Santa Cruz, Bombay.
                      Neil Soares.

--- On Fri, 1/14/11, Pankaj Oudhia <pankaj...@gmail.com> wrote:

Pankaj Kumar

Jan 14, 2011, 12:22:50 PM1/14/11
to Neil Soares, efloraofindia, Pankaj Oudhia
Thanks a lot for correcting me Neil sir,
I assume most of Ritwik's movies were shot in Calcutta...

Pankaj Oudhia

Jan 14, 2011, 12:43:53 PM1/14/11
to efloraofindia
It looks like Albizia sp. may be Albizia saman as replies are indicating. I am remembering the words of Traditional Healers when they identify trees in far hills with the help of canopy shape. They say Albizia as Sirsa i.e. Sir-Sa -Head like.

Jim is searching options of Ficus sp. I have sent thousands of images of Ficus for confirmation.

Lets wait for the comments of other members. Garg ji can tell whether these trees still exist in Kolkata or not, in same fashion.


Pankaj Oudhia


Jan 14, 2011, 5:15:45 PM1/14/11
to Pankaj Oudhia, efloraofindia
It looks like Samanea saman (= Albizia saman) to me too.

Vijayasankar Raman, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Research Associate
National Center for Natural Products Research
Thad Cochran Research Center
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38677
Phone: +1 662 915 1018

J.M. Garg

Jan 15, 2011, 1:00:20 AM1/15/11
to Vijayasankar, Pankaj Oudhia, efloraofindia
Certainly Samanea saman (Rain tree)- also called Vilaiti Sirsi in Kolkata- as I have stayed in Kolkata for a long time.. 
With regards,
J.M.Garg (jmg...@gmail.com)
'Creating awareness of Indian Flora & Fauna'
The whole world uses my Image Resource of more than a thousand species & eight thousand images of Birds, Butterflies, Plants etc. (arranged alphabetically & place-wise): http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:J.M.Garg. You can also use them for free as per liberal licensing conditions attached with each image.
For identification, learning, discussion & documentation of Indian Flora, please visit/ join our Google e-group- Efloraofindia:http://groups.google.co.in/group/indiantreepix (more than 1490 members & 59,000 messages on 5/1/11 & with a database of around 4450 species on 15/12/10)

promila chaturvedi

Jan 15, 2011, 8:36:37 AM1/15/11
to Pankaj Kumar, Neil Soares, efloraofindia, Pankaj Oudhia
To me also it looks like Rain Tree it has no resemblance with any of the Ficus family tree.

On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 10:52 PM, Pankaj Kumar <sahani...@gmail.com> wrote:
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