While I was in Mangalore during this past October, I read an interesting news reporting in Deccan Herald (dated October 16, 2008) of a blooming Talipot palm. With the help of my relative, we tracked the location of this tree and took some pictures. I would like to share them with the readers of Mangalorean.com.
The tree belongs to the Corypha umbraculifera species, is almost similar to the toddy palm (Thaari) tree, those are fairly common to the region with a slight difference. The leaves are fan shaped and slightly larger. The leaves were used fairly extensively to make rain covers (in Tulu known as "Panoli") for the farm laborers to wear during the monsoon season. This usage has gone way down and the number of these trees in the region also has plummeted.
The specialty is that this tree blooms once in every 70 to 75 years or so, and after that it dies. Only a few people in a lifetime get a chance to see this wonderful display of fabulous blooms. There have been some sightings in Mudipu area as well as in the Gurupur area during the last few years. It is likely that Mangaloreans may have seen this particular bloom since it was publicized in October. If you have not seen it and if you are interested and are in the area, it is well worth a trip to the site.
Location: This tree is in the Kodialbail/Karangalapady area. It is hidden from the main roads and is close to the Mangalore sub jail. It is at the end of a narrow road between Canara College and SDM Law College. You may have to check with the residents there for its exact location.
The bloom is supposed to last about six weeks or so, according to Rev Fr (Dr) Leo D’Souza, the founder and director of the Laboratory of applied Botany at St. Aloysius College and an internationally famous Botanist, who first observed and disclosed it to The Deccan Herald.
I took these pictures on October 17, 2008. The spectacular flowers may be slowly fading and fruits may be showing up now.
Author: J. M. Bhandary- USA