March and April were unexpectedly hot in Bangalore. All the trees around the city suddenly came into bloom. The Tabebuia, Jacaranda and Gulmohar trees all flowered at once. They made a stunning show – as you can see from this gulmohar, which I photographed on 30 April.
But this may not be a good sign. The Bangalore Mirror, a local English-language paper, carried the headline “It is a climatic bloomer that all trees are blooming now.” The theory is that the early flowering predicts a water shortage. The trees are feeling threatened, because their roots struggle to find water after the intense heat and lack of rain. So the trees stop growing and move into the reproductive state of flowering.
Now we just wait and see what May will bring – more heat, or summer rains?
Here is a closer look at the gulmohar.
And a closer look at one branch. My driver told me that he remembers eating gulmohar leaves when he was a young boy, growing up in Chennai. He doesn’t eat them now, and I wonder if anyone does?