Gulmohar tree is one of the most popular trees in India and it can be seen in almost all parts of the country. It is famous for its beauty and this is the reason it is mostly found grown on the sidewalks of the roads, home gardens, and the parks. Generally, it is found in two species, one with the yellow flowers and one with red flowers, both of these cultivars have a mesmerizing charm to them.
Gulmohar tree is known by many different names in the various regions of India. Its Sanskrit name is ‘Krishnachuda’, in Hindi it is called ‘Gulmohar’ and ‘Rakta Gulmohar’, and it is called ‘Mayaram’ in Tamil, ‘Radhachura’ in Bengali, and ‘Gulpari’ in Malayalam. In English, it is known as ‘Royal Poinciana’ and ‘Flamboyant Tree’.
Gulmohar tree is believed to originate mainly from the Madagascar region and it has been grown in India for more than 200 years. It is said that at the time of British rule in India, Britishers had many tea gardens and they planted many gulmohar trees in those gardens for using them as shady trees for proper tea plantation.
In India, summer is at its peak in the months of May and June, and at that time most of the trees look quite helpless because of the scorching heat of the Sun. But, this is the time when gulmohar tree stands out and displays its beauty in full bloom, in this summertime it grows its beautiful colorful flowers which look quite breathtaking, there are more flowers on the tree then the leaves, making it look like a colorful 3D painting.
Gulmohar Tree Basic Information
The Gulmohar tree belongs to the leguminous family ‘Fabaceae’, subfamily ‘Caesalpiniaceae’ and its scientific name is ‘Delonix Regia’. It is an evergreen or semi-deciduous tree that can grow in a variety of climates like tropic, subtropics, or Mediterranean. It is not much tolerant to the colder climates; it can survive in climates up to 5 degrees Celsius.
Gulmohar tree is not a very tall tree and it generally grows in the height range of 4 to 10 meters. It is very useful as a shade tree, especially in the summertime because with proper pruning its canopy forms a beautiful umbrella-like shape, which looks very attractive and provides ample shade. It prefers to grow in well-drained soil and might have problems in growth if the soil is not well-drained because it does not require a lot of water.
The flowers bloom on the gulmohar tree from the month of April to July and then legumes start growing on the plant from the month of July to September. The fruit of the gulmohar tree is a legume, which is elongated and has an oblong shape. The fruit is initially green and flaccid and it turns to a hard, brown, and woody pod as it matures.
This tree requires ample sunlight for proper growth; if it does not receive full sunlight then it may not bloom properly. Most of the people grow this tree for its aesthetic advantages and ornamental purposes, so if it does not produce those beautiful flowers, then it would be quite a setback.
Generally, it blooms in the summer season but it has many cultivars that can grow flowers in other seasons like spring and autumn too. Thus it gives you an option to graft different cultivars on the same tree. Many people like to grow different cultivars on a tree to make a beautiful combination of colorful flowers. The additional advantage of using different cultivars is that your tree will bloom throughout the year.
Uses Of Gulmohar Tree
1. Almost all the parts of the gulmohar tree-like leaves, flowers, stem, bark, etc. are used for medicinal purposes in Ayurvedic and other traditional Indian medicine practices, but its leaves have the most of beneficial medicinal properties.
2. According to the Ayurvedic practices, the flowers and buds of Gulmohar are sweet and nutritious; they are very beneficial in treating problems like weakness, anemia, leucorrhoea, jaundice, and diabetes.
3. Its main medicinal application is seen in the case of sugar control, it is believed that gulmohar has rich anti-diabetic properties. In addition to this quality, it is also known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Gulmohar tree is also considered very helpful in treating liver problems, it gives strength to the liver and it is used in homeopathic medicine practices to recuperate from weakness in the liver, especially after jaundice.
5. Gulmohar tree is also extensively used for decoration and ornamental purposes in government buildings, private buildings, sidewalks, gardens, and parks.
6. This tree is also known for its anti-diarrheal and antipyretic properties, this is the reason that it is used for treating gastric disorders and reducing fever.
7. Gulmohar also contains anti-oxidants which are very effective in removing the free radicals from the body.
The flower of gulmohar tree is unarguably the most beautiful and attractive part of the tree. It has distinct radial symmetry, and it not very fragrant but it has a good mild fragrance. The calyx of the flower has 5 lobes and it has thick sepals that are red in color with a yellowish border.
Gulmohar flower has 5 big petals that are broad and have a spoon-like shape and have a rounded end. Although there are few other cultivars of this flower that have different color flowers, but the most common cultivar has an orange-red flower.
The petals are red or orange on the outside and they have whitish and yellow spots on the inside. Gulmohar flower also has distinct stamens that are long and narrower as compared to other flowers. The number of these stamens generally ranges from 9 to 10. Stamens are completely free and separate and have their own filaments. These filaments are hairy, villous, and have a red or pink color.
How To Plant Gulmohar Tree
1. Delonix regia requires well-drained soils and full sunlight for its proper growth, it grows well in the areas which have a moderate temperature range. It does not require a lot of water and it does not grow properly in areas with logged water, as such it quite well-suited for the tropical and subtropical areas.
2. It is most commonly propagated through its seeds, the seeds of gulmohar are quite hard and this is the reason they take a long time to germinate. To break this dormancy seeds can be boiled in hot water for some time and then allowed to soak for at least 24 hours before starting the germination process. After taking out the soaked seats you can start the germination process.
3. Take a tray and cover it with a paper towel, now place 5-6 seeds of the gulmohar on it, cover it with another paper towel, and then spray a mixture of water and some hydrogen peroxide on it. Do not make it very weight; just spray enough water to wet the paper towels.
4. Keep an eye on this tray every day, do not let it dry completely, keep spraying the mixture to keep it wet, and keep it in a shaded area, after 4-5 days you will see that the seeds will start sprouting. You can remove the unviable seeds if there are any.
5. After the seeds have sprouted properly, you can prepare the soil medium by making a mix of 25% cocopeat, 10% gravel, 20% garden soil, 20% compost, and 20% sand.
6. After preparing this soil medium you can plant the sprouted seeds in it, remember to place the seeds properly, keep the sprouted part downwards so that it gets dug in the soil. After planting the seed, you should water the soil regularly for 1-2 weeks.
7. Within this period you will see that the shoot will grow from the seed, these seedlings grow rapidly and they can be transplanted when they get 20-25 cm high.