New Post, Tree love

#ThursdayTreeLove: Why is Kachnar also called the Camel’s foot tree?

Genus- Bauhinia Variegata / Bauhinia Purpurea (Purple orchid tree)

Common Name- Orchid tree / mountain ebony / camel’s foot tree / Kachnar / Kovidar

This time of the year seems sprightly as the delicate Kachnar blooms on the trees around the colony. It belongs to the Bauhinia family and is a favorite of the landscapers who prefer to plant it in new developments. The name of my colony is kept on this tree which abounds in plenty around my house. I have been seeing three different shades of the flowers and now know that they are all cousins πŸ˜‰

sun bird in the orchid tree

Its a hot favorite with the birds and I have seen parrots gorging on it at all times of the day. Sunbirds and Rufus Treepies are other comely patrons of this graceful bloom which closely resembles an orchid.

parrot in the purple orchid tree

There is this huge Kachnar tree in my park that is bent double with the softly perfumed blooms that float whimsically with every gust of the wind. I have been enjoying the flowering on my morning walks and thought to share this tree for this edition of Thursday tree love. Kachnar is also the state flower of Bihar.

kachnar - bauhinia variegata-park-morning walk-thursday tree love-orchid

By the way, the Kachnar (B Variegata) is a pale mauve colored flower, streaked with deep purple lines. Its buds are used to make a delicious sabzi and no I haven’t every tasted it – have you?

Intrigued? Pin it for later!

kachnar - bauhinia variegata-park-morning walk-thursday tree love-orchid

Its close cousin is the Purple Orchid tree,Β called Kovidar in local language. Did you know that in Ramayana, Bharata’s chariot was marked with a flag bearing this flower as an ensign? It has another interesting name- Raktapushpa which literally means blood flower.

An intriguing thing to note about this species is the leafy foliage which resembles a camel foot, thus earning it the name Camel’s foot tree!!!

Though its revered as an ornamental tree, its actually a tree of great medicinal value. From the root to flowers-all offers a unique remedy for many common ailments. You would be amazed to know how beneficial it is to eat/drink its flowers as a vegetable or in a tea. I am certainly thinking of making the tea, since there are so many trees near me. If I do, I will share my experience with you.

Joining in the #Thursdaytreelove linky with Parul

My previous post for this linky can be found here

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28 thoughts on “#ThursdayTreeLove: Why is Kachnar also called the Camel’s foot tree?

  1. This is a tree I stumbled upon first in my Hindi textbook I think. But I never associated the name Kachnaar with this one, even though it’s a fairly common sight. I love the little tit-bits of information you’ve provided. I had no clue it was related to the orchid or that bit about it being on Bharat’s chariot. I wonder what’s the significance of that. I love the name raktpushpa. Sounds powerful and dangerous in some strange way.

    1. Yeah I loved the anecdotes too and some of it was incredible to me too. Blood flower sounds like a sacrificial offering or something like that.

  2. I’m enjoying seeing these trees in full bloom this year, Shalz. I didn’t realize that it had a mythological connection and that parts of it were edible! I was referring to it as the Hong Kong orchid on my insta posts.

    1. I was also quite surprised by how useful this tree is. I had thought of it as a very decorative tree only. The flowers are just too gorgeous. There are 4-5 shades of this blooming in my colony and I am just amazed at the variety in the shades

  3. I never knew the political history of Kachnar enshrined in Ramayana and the multiple health benefits. Very well documented post.

  4. The first time i heard the word Kachnar was in a Ajay Devgun’s movie song from the 90s. The song opened like this – ‘Kachhi kali kachnar ki todi nahin jaati.’ I don’t remember the rest of the lines. I never knew what kachnar is until reading your post today. For an ignorant person like me for whom a ped (tree) is a ped and a phool (flower) is just that a phool, your tree posts are proving to be educational. The tree and its flowers look beautiful. It must be lovely to live in a colony with lots of such trees around.

    1. God I have no idea of that song but it sure sounds cheesy

      I first saw these trees 7 years ago when I moved to this colony and they are all around. I fell in love with them since then. I have been taking pics of them ever since.

    1. I will make the tea in one of these days. I have been wanting to catalogue my tree love since ages and this feature is just perfect for it .

  5. I tried to find the Tamil version of this, but this is new to me. Didn’t know much about this one at all. In general, I know orchids are a type of flower, but nothing more than that. Your post is interesting and I’m surprised at the information you’ve given. Be careful with the tea though. I’m sure I’ve read it’s edible from your post, still, hope it’s good.

    1. I think its called mantharai in Tamil- not 100% sure though. Its really a gorgeous bloom and the shades it flowers in are just amazing. The orchids you are mentioning here are the exotic species that bloom in North-East parts of India, Singapore, etc. Those are tropical flowers. These Kachnar flowers are said to look like them and hence this name.

      Glad you enjoyed reading the post Jayanthy- and yes I will be careful with the tea πŸ™‚

  6. I loved the information that you shared – that snippet of mythology but the parrot stole the show. What a gorgeous blooming tree and so good that the tree ha sso many medicinal properties. I did not know the name until you shared. Thank you, Shalini for joining. I love that you live in such a green colony. A happy feeling.
    See you tomorrow πŸ™‚

    1. Thats so good to hear Parul- I am loving being a part of this series and have started scheduling my posts well in advance. Hoping to finish the year with completing the last two posts too.

      I am grateful to be living in this part of the world where Nature is at its best. Love the show in every season and have been avidly taking pics of it too πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks Ramya. I always wanted to document trees and this blog hop is a great way for me to do so. Thats why the research and the snippets I add in.

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