Some Fragrant Flowers

30 01 2010
Confederate Jasmine   
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Confederate Jasmine 
Common name: Confederate jasmine, Star jasmine
Botanical name: Trachelospermum jasminoides    Family: Apocynaceae (oleander family)


This beautiful and energetic evergreen vine creates a special scene all through the year as clambers 40 ft up tree trunks using its holdfast roots to pull itself almost to the top. During April and May the plant goes two-tone as it flushes light green with new growth. Shortly thereafter the scene transforms again when the delicate 1 in white pinwheel flowers delicately breathe enchanting fragrances into the spring air. Confederate jasmine grows as a neat tangle of slender wiry stems that exude white latex when cut. These are covered with thick glossy evergreen leaves that are 2 in long, oval shaped, and pointed at both ends. The stems will twine and clamber over supports and cling to walls and hard surfaces with great ease and abandon. It should be noted that Confederate jasmine is not a “true” jasmine. Confederate jasmine comes from China, but has been a popular garden plant in Europe and the U.S. for centuries.
Brahma Kamal   
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Brahma Kamal 
Common name: Brahma Kamal ब्रह्म कमल (Hindi)
Botanical name: Saussurea obvallata    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)


The Brahma Kamal, the much reverred flower of the Himalayas, is an excellent example of plant life at the upper limit of high mountains (3,000-4,600 m). The flowerheads are actually purple, but are enclosed in layers of greenish-yellow, papery, boat-shaped bracts. The flowers bloom at the height of the monsoons and abundant in high-altitude places like The Valley of Flowers. The bract-cover provides the warm space needed to bloom in the cold mountains. The flowers are used as offering in the hill temples, like the shrines of Badrinath. The thick curved root of the plant is applied to bruises and cuts, as part of local medicine. Brahma Kamal is the state flower of Uttarakhand. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.
Rajanigandha   
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Rajanigandha 
Common name: Mexican tuberose • Hindi: Rajanigandha रजनीगंधा • Manipuri: কুন্দালৈ অংগৌবা Kundalei angouba • Urdu: Gul shabbo गुल शब्बो • Marathi: Gulcheri • Kannada: sukandaraji • Telugu: Nelasampengi • Tamil: Nila Sampangi
Botanical name: Polianthes tuberosa    Family: Agavaceae (agave family)


Rajanigandha means “The Fragrance of the Night”. It is a flower that is both mythical and magical, its nectar said by some to have special powers and its scent magical to all who experience it. Tuberoses are a popular flower in floral arrangements and their scent is used to produce perfumes the world over. Polianthes come from Mexico and the above is probably more familiar as a florist’s cut flower. They are however quite easy to grow in a pot. Long-lasting as a cut flower in water (with lots of changes.) Flowering tubers have to be discarded as they will not flower again. A mass of long pale green foliage. The unopened buds are pinkish but the flowers are pure white. Tuberoses thrive in sunny spots and bloom in late summer. They are excellent in the garden or in pots. Their tall stems (2-3 ft.) and rather sparse, grass-like foliage make them ideal for interplanting.
Four O’clock   
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Four O'clock 
Common name: Four O’clock, Beauty-of-the-night, Marvel of Peru • Hindi: गुल अब्बास Gul abbas, Gulbakshi • Manipuri: মুকাক লৈ Mukak lei • Marathi: गुलबस Gulabas or गुलबास Gulabaas, सायंकाळें saayankaale • Tamil: Pattarashu, அந்தி மந்தாரை Andhi Mandarai • Malayalam: Anthimalari, Anti-mantaram, naalu mani poovu • Telugu: Chandramalli • Kannada: Gulamaji, Naalku ghante hoo • Bengali: সংধ্যা মালতী Sandhya malati • Oriya: Rangini • Konkani: आकाशमुरी Akashmuri, Meremdi • Sanskrit: Krishnakeli
Botanical name: Mirabilis jalapa    Family: Nyctaginaceae (Bougainvillea family)


Four o’clock flowers are trumpet shaped, about an inch across at the end and about two inches long. They open in the evening and wilt the next morning. Four o’clocks are leafy, shrublike, multi-branched perennials which bloom throughout summer. The plants are erect and spreading, 2-3 ft tall and just as wide. They have numerous branches and opposite, pointed leaves 2-4 in long. The fragrant flowers are borne singly or in clusters, and can be red, magenta, pink, yellow or white, sometimes with more than one color on the same plant. Like Petunia, bicolored flowers can also be grown. The plants continue to produce new flowers from late spring untill fall. Four o’clocks have large, black carrot shaped tubers that can be a foot or more long. In warm regions, the roots can weigh up to 18 kg or more.
Dwarf Magnolia   
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Dwarf Magnolia 
Common name: Dwarf Magnolia, Cempaka Telur, Cempaka Gondok, Coconut Magnolia
Botanical name: Magnolia coco      Family: Magnoliaceae


Native to China, magnolia coco is a wonderful plant which captures the beauty of magnolias (normally big trees) in a flower pot. The flowers are small and very fragrant. They usually last only a day and open in the evening, the tepals falling by morning. This species is a good houseplant, the most suitable magnolia for indoors, thanks to its small size and slow growth rate. Its long flowering period provides indoor fragrance and color about nine months of a year. Most of magnolias lack nectaries, but the Magnolia coco is a nice exception. It secrets a nectar-like substance at the base of the tepals and between the stigmas. Indoors it can be grown as a small house plant in a pot where it gets only 2-3 ft tall and blooms in young age. Fragrance is outstanding especially in early morning, and reminds one of champaka. This probably inspired its other names, Michelia coco and Michelia pumila. This is a true magnolia – the blooms are at the ends of the branches, rather than from the leaf axils as they are in the Michelia group.
White Butterfly Bush   
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White Butterfly Bush 
Common name: White Butterfly Bush, Asian Butterfly Bush, Winter Lilac
Botanical name: Buddleja asiatica    Family: Buddlejaceae (Butterfly-bush family)


A native of Eastern Asia, this Butterfly Bush is one of the largest. It is a moderately succulent caned, large, arching shrub. It can reach 12 feet or more and has widely spaced leaves that often curl or hang down. The blooms are dense, often drooping, spikes of tiny white flowers with a pleasant fragrance. When it blooms, it often looks like it is all flowers and no leaves at all. When the flowers are finished the shrub tends to look dead. Soon new bright green leaves with felty white undersides will grow, but the shrub will remain without flowers the rest of the season. While the flowers of this Buddleia may not rival the appearance of more common Buddleias, the fragrance more than makes up for it. The Butterfly Bush do have a luscious honey aroma, but it doesn’t waft through the air with the heavenly scent of Freesias like White Butterfly Bush. The beautiful butterflies who feed on its nectar, are a joy to watch. White Butterfly Bush is also a source of perfume. Flowering: January-October.
Kadam   
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Kadam 


In Hindu mythology, Kadam was the favourite tree of Krishna. Tree up to 45 m tall, without branches for more than 25 m. Diameter up to 100 (-160) cm but normally less; sometimes with buttresses. The crown is umbrellashaped and the branches are characteristically arranged in tiers. Leaves simple, 13-32 cm long. Flowers orange, small, in dense, globose heads. They appear like solid, hairy orange balls. The fruits are small capsules, packed closely together to form a fleshy, yellow or orange coloured infructescence containing approx. 8,000 seeds. The small capsules split into four parts releasing the seed at maturity. There are approximately 20,000 seeds per gram. It is believed to have medicinal value in curing astringent, ulcer, digestive, diarrhoea, expectorant, fever, vomiting. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this tree.
Kewda   
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Kewda 
Common name: Kewda, Fragrant Screw Pine, Umbrella tree, Screw pine, Screw tree • Assamese: কেতেকী ketaki • Bengali: কেতকী ketaki • Gujarati: કેતક ketak • Hindi: गगण धूल gagan-dhul, जम्बाला jambala, जम्बूल jambul, केओड़ा keora, केतकी ketaki, केंवड़ा kevara, पांशुका panshuka, पांसुका pansuka, पुष्प चामर pushp-chamar, तीक्ष्ण गन्धा tikshna-gandha • Kannada: ಕೇದಗೆ kedage, ಕೇದಗಿ kedagi, ಕೇದಿಗೆ kedige, ಕೇತಕೆ ketake, ತಾಳೇ ಹೂ taale hu • Konkani: बोन्नोंग bonnong, केगदी kegdi, खेवडा khevada • Malayalam: കൈനാറി kainaari, കൈത kaitha • Manipuri: কেতেকী ketaki • Marathi: केगद kegad, केतकी ketaki, केवडा kevada • Oriya: Kia • Sanskrit: हनीलः hanilha, जम्बूल jambul, केतकी ketaki, पांशुका panshuka, पांसुका pansuka, सुगंधिनी sugandhini • Tamil: கேதகை ketakai, தாழை talai • Telugu: గేదగ gedaga, గొజ్జంగి gojjangi, కేతకి ketaki • Urdu: جمبالا jambala, جمبول jambul, کيتکی ketaki, کيوڙا kevara, پانشکا panshuka
Botanical name: Pandanus odorifer    Family: Pandanaceae (Screw pine family)
Synonyms: Keura odorifera, Pandanus odoratissimus, Pandanus fascicularis


Fragrant Screw Pine is a small branched tree or shrub with fragrant flowers, found wild in southern India, Burma and the Andamans. it is a small, slender, branching tree with a flexuous trunk supported by brace roots. With rosettes of long-pointed, stiffly leathery, spiny, bluish-green, fragrant leaves, it bears in summer very fragrant flowers. It is used as perfume. aromatic oil (kevda oil) and fragrant distillation (otto) called “keorra-ka-arak”. Used plant part – male flowers. They are almost exclusively used in the form of a watery distillate called kewra water. Flowers have a sweet, perfumed odor that has a pleasant quality similar to rose flowers, but kewra is more fruity. The distillate (kewra water, pandanus flower water) is quite diluted; it can be used by the teaspoon, often even by the tablespoon. Most delightful, richest, and powerful of perfumes even when dried.
Himalayan Fragrant Orchid   
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Himalayan Fragrant Orchid
Common name: Himalayan Fragrant Orchid • Nepali: हात्ति जरा Hati jara
Botanical name: Gymnadenia orchidis    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Gymnadenia cylindrostachya, Gymnadenia himalayica, Habenaria orchidis, Orchis habenaroides


Himalayan Fragrant Orchid is a terrestrial orchid, growing to 1-2 ft tall. Tuberoids are palmately divided. The leafy stem are rather stout. Leaves 3-5, are large, erect, oblong, pointed, up to 12 cm long and 3.5 cm wide. Flowers are borne in very dense, cylindric spike, 10 cm long. Bracts are ovate-lanceshaped, pointed. Flowers are rose-violet, pleasantly scented. Dorsal sepal is ovate, 5 x 3 mm, forming a loose hood together with the petals. Lateral sepals are narrower, oblong, 6 x 2.5 mm, spreading outwards. Petals are broadly obliquely-ovate, 5 x 4 mm. Lip is angular-ovate in outline, usually broader than long, 5 x 5.5 mm, wedge- shaped towards the base, shallowly 3-lobed at the tip. Spur is slender, cylindric, pointed, 1.5-1.8 cm long, filled with nectar. Ovary is slightly twisted. The fragrance of the flowers is very similar to the European Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia conopsea. Himalayan Fragrant Orchid is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Bhutan, at altitudes of 2500-4800 m. Flowering: July-August.
Night Blooming Jasmine   
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Night Blooming Jasmine 
common name: Night-blooming cestrum, Night blooming jasmine, Rat ki rani रात की रानी (Hindi), Thabal lei (Manipuri), Hasna hana (Bengali), Raatrani रातराणी (Marathi, Konkani)
Botanical name: Cestrum nocturnum    Family: Solanaceae (potato family)


This sprawling shrub has glossy, smooth, simple leaves 4″-8″ long. Vine-like stems reach up to 12′ in its native habitat, but it seldom reaches more than a 4′ mound in a single season. It blooms in cycles throughout warm weather. Greenish-creamy white tubular flowers rise from above leaves along the stem, followed by shiny white, fleshy berries. Although the flowers are not showy to the eye, their sweet scent can overpower. The perfume is distinctly powerful at night – this feature has had its influence on its common name in all languages. The Hindi name translates to queen of the night, while the Manipuri name means moon flower. No fragrant garden should be without this nocturnal beauty. While night blooming jasmine is a gorgeous plant with charming blooms, the scent also produces severe allergic reactions in some individuals.
Forest Champa   
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Forest Champa 
Common name: Forest Champa • Hindi: Padera, Padwa, Mahabal, Barcha • Marathi: गिडेसा Gidesa • Nepali: बन चाँप Ben champa • Telugu: Erra Mogi, Konda muritidi • Urdu: बन चाँपा Ban champa
Botanical name: Spermadictyon suaveolens    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Hamiltonia suaveolens, Hamiltonia mysorensis


Forest Champa is a branched shrub, growing up to 1-2 m tall. The species name suaveolens means sweet-scented, and refers to the fragrant flowers. All vegetative parts stink when bruised. Oppositely arranged elliptic-lancelike leaves, 10-20 cm, are finely velvety. Leaf stalks are 1-2 cm long. Flowers occur in many-flowered spherical heads, arrange in panicles at the end of branches. The spherical heads are 5-10 cm across. Flowers are fragrant, in bunches of 5 or more. Sepals are small, very narrow, and tapering. Flowers are white with a relatively long tube and short, oblong petals. The tube is slender, funnel-shaped, up to 1.5 cm long, with 4-5 short petals, spreading up to 8 mm. Stamens remain inside the flower throat. Style with 5-lobed stigma protrudes out of the flower. Fruit is capsule-like, crowned by the leftover sepals. In China it is grown for its showy, fragrant flowers. Only seen wild in India. This flower is seen in Western Ghats and Himalayas, from Pakistan to SE Tibet, at altitudes of 700-2300 m. Flowering: October-March.
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