Namma city losing its flowering trees

18FLOWER SHOWs.jpg

Bengaluru: The city may soon be devoid of its floral colour and splendor. The Indian Coral (Erythrina) and Flames of the Forest (Butea monosperma), the most commonly found flowering trees in Bengaluru, are fast disappearing from the cityscape. There are at least 10 species of flowering plants which have dwindled drastically in numbers as ornamental and exotic tree species are taking their place. Con­version of nurseries and rose gardens into residential apartments in the city suburbs is another reason why flowering trees in Bengaluru are fast disappearing.
Environmentalist Mr Suresh Heblikar points out that the rose gardens which once abounded in the city in large numbers, are now disappearing. “We have lost the link between the urban area and suburbs, which once supplied the city with milk, vegetables and flowers. Today we are fast losing our native trees which flowered during winter all across the city,” he recalls. Prof. Shankar Rao from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) blames the loss on lack of expertise in the civic agencies, which tend to pick up ornamental and exotic species. “Most of the ornamental plants that are planted are of no use to local ecology. Just because they grow fast and need less care, that does not give civic agencies the right to to change the flower map of Bengaluru,” Prof. Rao says.

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