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Aboli a Tropical Flower

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Project by sharad posted 05-09-2010 04:48 AM 10450 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am introducing a very popular tropical flower known as Firecracker. Its scientific name is Crossandra infundibuliformis and the family Acanthaceae. Family wise they are related to such houseplants as the Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa), Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata), Shrimp Plant (Beloperone guttata), Nerve Plants (Fittonia) and Ruellia.
They are evergreen and bloom continuously almost throughout the year. They are sensitive to cold and can’t stand below 50*F. The plants are native to Southern India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. It is usually grown in containers but can be attaractive in beds as well. Flower colors range from the common orange to salmon-orange or apricot, coral to red, yellow and even turquoise. The flowers are unusually shaped with 3 to 5 asymmetrical petals. They grow from four-sided stalked spikes. They have a tube like ¾ inch stalk which makes it easier to string them for a garland. These tiny flowers are often strung together into strands, sometimes along with white jasmine flowers and therefore in great demand for making garlands which are offered to temple deities or used to adorn women’s hair. The flowers have no perfume but stay fresh for several days on the bush. A well tended specimen will bloom continuously for years. The leaves are glossy and most striking. It is propagated by seeds or cuttings.
The local name for the flower in my region is Aboli which means one who does not talk may be because the flower speaks for itself. This name is given to girls also. In the south of India the local name is Kanakambaram.
I have captured photographs of two village girls, one wearing an Aboli strand for her hair and the other a Jasmin. They are wearing traditional dress and have adorned themselves with various ornaments. I am sure you will like this rustic look.






Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein



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sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

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flower tropical zone 9-10 challenge03 terrace

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20 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2716 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-09-2010 05:09 AM

oh Sharad- thank you for sharing this information and the photos!
The flower is GORGEOUS as are the two young ladies.

“Aboli” – I like the meaning of the name. I’m going to try and remember this word. Thank you

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View davidc61's profile

davidc61

417 posts in 1749 days
hardiness zone 4

posted 05-09-2010 06:01 AM

Thank you for the introduction Sharad, as MsDebbieP says it is georgous. You are a very well informed gardener and as usual your posts are pleasing to see and read.

-- David, Adelaide South Australia. Every day I wake up breathing is a good day!

View stefang's profile

stefang

393 posts in 1695 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 05-09-2010 06:13 AM

I have to admit that I feel humbled by your wonderful description and photos of the Aboli plant/flower together with it’s place in your culture and of course those lovely young girls sporting Abolis in their hair and with such beautiful and colorful clothing. Even though such flowers will not grow outside here in Norway, like Debbie I will probably remember it for a long time (at least for a few days). Thank you for this very welcome project Sharad.

-- Mike the reluctant gardening assistant of Lillian

View rosewood513's profile

rosewood513

420 posts in 2066 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 05-09-2010 06:43 AM

Unbelievable plants, so beautiful and so are the young ladies. Your Daughters?

-- If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got!...Lanoka Harbor, NJ 6b

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2496 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 05-09-2010 07:20 AM

Those flowers are really nice Sharad.It is also nice to see how they are used in the girls hair.Thank you for sharing that with us.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 05-09-2010 10:21 AM

Rosemarie, they are not my daughters. Unfortunately I have two sons but two very lovable daughter-in-laws.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 05-09-2010 02:34 PM

Rosemarie, they are not my daughters. I have two sons and two very lovable daughter-in-laws. The word “unfortunately” in my above posting was used in wrong context. What I meant was, unfortunately I have no daughters. Pl excuse me for this mistake. I realised this a little late after my editing time was over.

Sharad

—Bagwan—“If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View dini's profile

dini

1591 posts in 2432 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 05-09-2010 03:48 PM

Beautiful flower….........and two lovely young ladies in very pretty dress.

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View rosewood513's profile

rosewood513

420 posts in 2066 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 05-09-2010 04:11 PM

Sharad,
It is my mistake not yours if I had read the last two lines I would have seen that you said they are Villiage girls. I was a bit in a hurry to go visit family. Forgive my mistake, and I understand what you mean about not having daughters I have both so I am very lucky, but to have wonderful daughter-in-laws is a true gift.
The girls are still beautiful I love the way the flowers were made for thiere hair and their outfits are lovely.

-- If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got!...Lanoka Harbor, NJ 6b

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 2345 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 05-09-2010 04:34 PM

Sharad, thank-you for introducing this beautiful flower to us. The information re. the growing and uses of the flower is very interesting. This is a flower that I would like to have in my garden but I realize I live in the wrong place. :)

The flowers and the pictures of the young women are lovely. Thank-you for sharing these with us.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4307 posts in 1978 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-09-2010 07:54 PM

What a fascinating post about the flowers and culture in India. Sharad, I am very glad that you became part of Garden Tenders. I always learn from your posts. Thank you!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View donjoe's profile

donjoe

220 posts in 1701 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 05-09-2010 09:00 PM

Wonderful flower with a wonderful story.

-- Donnie in sunny South Carolina

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 05-10-2010 01:30 AM

Thank all of you for your response to the project. “Sari” the main attire of the girls is nine yards long. It is slowly disappearing in the cities and is changed to six yards with a different style of waring. Many of you must have seen this on Indian women in your country. The ornament used on the nose must be a novelty to most of you. The nose has to be punctured at the young age when it is tender for waring the ornament called Nath. Now you can avoid piercing the nose by attaching the ornament to the nostril with a clip.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Roway's profile

Roway

61 posts in 1922 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 05-19-2010 08:23 PM

Found this plant today at the road side market, I remembered your post and I had to buy it!

-- Ronnie | Radford Virginia | www.ronsgarden.com | ronnie@ronsgarden.com

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 05-20-2010 12:22 PM

Ronnie thanks for your response. I never thought this plant will be available over there. I am sure you will like it.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Roway's profile

Roway

61 posts in 1922 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 08-11-2010 07:09 PM

Sharad a progress report on the Crossandra, as you can see it’s doing very well. It’s now one my prized plants. I just hope I can over winter it in the house.

-- Ronnie | Radford Virginia | www.ronsgarden.com | ronnie@ronsgarden.com

View IceFlower's profile

IceFlower

156 posts in 1790 days
hardiness zone 9b

posted 10-01-2010 04:53 AM

I just bought the yellow version of crossandra, ‘the shrimp plant’. It grows to small bush size here, but i’m worried after last year’s freeze to actually plant it out. The girls are so lovely with the flowers in their hair! Thank you for information that i can use on the plant Sharad :)
I like the tall croton behind the girls too, another really beautiful plant

-- Alynxia**** It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. 'The Buddha'****

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 10-17-2010 01:46 AM

Ronnie thanksfor the picture. The plant is doing well and hope it will survive the winter.

Iceflower thanks for your comments and to hear that you have got the yellow variety. Try to protect it from winter and you will get beautiful flowers when the weather improves.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Shireen's profile

Shireen

1 post in 1170 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 10-06-2011 05:36 AM

I just got some aboli and someone told me it won’t do well at our place which is a little outside Pune. After reading this and seeing our pictures I am sure they will do brilliantly. Have also got some jungli aboli which flowers from Nov to April. The flowers are bluish violet and have a strong fragrance. It is commonly found in the Western Ghats.

-- Kamal, Mumbai

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1933 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 10-07-2011 02:15 PM

Shireen, welcome to GT. Aboli should do well at your place. I will be happy to see a picture of jungli(wild) aboli when it blooms in the coming months.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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