Kachnar is closely related to peacock flower and to the tree many
consider the world's most beautiful, the royal poinciana - and it shows!
Orchid tree is staggeringly beautiful when in bloom - and it blooms for
several months! Orchid tree grows 20-40 ft tall and 10-20 ft wide with a
spreading crown of briefly deciduous leaves which are 4-6 in across and
rounded with lobed ends and heart shaped bases. The leaves are shaped a
little like a cow's hoof. The flowers are reminiscent of showy orchids,
with five irregular, usually slightly overlapping petals in shades of
magenta, lavender, purplish blue or even white. The flowers often make
their first appearance in late winter while the tree is bare of leaves.
The blooming period then lasts until early summer. The flowers are 3-5 in
across and carried in clusters at the branch tips. A postal stamp was
issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this tree.
Identification credit: Tabish
Photographed in Delhi & Imphal.
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The flower labeled Kachnar is ...