This is my first contribution to the group after following the riches intently for over 2 months. Someone suggested running different themes in the group to make the exchange more interesting and I thought I will start one.
I happen to belong to Vrindaban (Mathura Distt, Uttar Pradesh), which is known as a temple town, and have lived myself in a big temple complex with its various bagichas. The trees and the shrubs grown in a temple garden are mostly selected based on the presence of fragrant flowers. Typically creepers like chameli, malti and tress like kadamb are grown which can produce flowers for offerings in the temple.
I will start with Jasmine today. There have been earlier posts on jasmine.
Here is an earlier post about 'Kunda', a hardy shrub which flowers in the winters at Vrindaban. The buds of 'Kunda' are very similar to the 'Chameli' buds I am posting here. Its a shrub while 'Chameli' is a creeper. Like the term 'Jasmine', 'Chameli' is a generic term used to describe a lot of mostly white fragrant smelling flowers. Though there are specific local names in all the cases, I am aware of only a few of them.
The attached photos belong to a beautiful creeper. Its called 'Chameli' in Hindi and 'Jaati Malli' (meaning wild jasmine) in Tamil. The just ripe buds are plucked and made into garlands. They flower at exactly the appropriate time when they are offered to the deity or worn by a woman. The flower is always 5 petalled (Is the number of petals a way to distinguish the different varieties?), and the leaves are beautiful and bottle green in colour. It flowers profusely in summers, and can be smelt from a good distance. The petals have a thin pink lining on one end, and are exquisitely beautiful. The creeper itself is quite lush and leafy.
The resources available on the net are mighty confusing about the different varieties - Is this jasminum grandiflorum? One photo says so, but another one shows the photo of a 'mogra' shrub which is a different plant. All photos were taken at Vrindaban on the 12th and 13th of July 2008.