BANGALORE: An urbanised Bangalore has claimed many victims, including several species of flora and fauna. A poignant reminder of the loss is the conspicuous absence of Jalari mara also known as Thalli mara. The Horticulture Department is planning to revive this species by planting Jalari mara in prominent lung spaces of the city, including Cubbon Park.
The botanical name of this species, whose mild but intoxicating fragrance spreads over two kms, is Shorea talura. This deciduous tree was once seen or rather smelt across the city. Now, the tree is almost but extinct here. It is on the red list issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Speaking to City Express, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Dr M Jagadish said, “The city does not have even a single tree of this species anymore. Even the major lung spaces in the city, Lalbagh and Cubbon Park, cannot boast of this tree.”
Environmentalist Yellappa Reddy has been working on conserving this species and has identified the existence of this tree in some pockets of human-settlements within Bannerghatta forest range. The Department has sought his help to revive and conserve this species. “We are procuring around 40 saplings of Shorea talura. We have identified suitable places to plant the saplings by this week. The tree produces pure white flowers in bunches for around six to seven months a year. The flower’s fragrance should provide a great ambience in the park for the visitors,” hoped Jagadish.
Other than Shorea talura, the department has also imported Phillipine Jade Vine Creeper through an agency from Phillipines. “The speciality of this very rare creeper is its scarlet red colour. We have started work on installing a stone arch, near the nursery of the park, for the creeper. It will be planted this week and the beauty of this creeper will be stupendous to the eyes of the visitors. But, it will bloom only after some years,” he said.
The department is also planning to introduce other species such as Tabebuia donnell-smithii in the city’s parks. This tree is currently found only on Raj Bhavan premises and near C V Raman Crematorium, IISC.
As a part of their plans to add colour to the green cover of the city, species such as Plumeria, which bears 190 colours of flowers, Fox Tail Palm, Mesuva Ferra, Pachira Insigne, and Rinchosperma Jasmine Noides will be planted.