Waiting for Strobilanthes

I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be the Hill conehead (Strobilanthes reticulata)

There are about 350 species of Strobilanthes, and some of them flower only once in several years. Last year I had gone to a plateau near Satara to see the Strobilantes sessilis in bloom; this happens once every seven years. During monsoon this year the Strobilanthes kunthiana will bloom for the first time since 2006. I reached Erivakulam national park just a few months too early for this. I was determined to take photos, so I took a photo of the bush. I’m not going to be mistaken about the flower when I go back in September.

The protected area of Erivakulam is a tiny sliver of land between tea estates, but it has an astonishing variety of Strobilanthes, called Kurinji in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I photographed several types, and you can see them in the gallery above. Unlike their famous cousins, these flower every year.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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