Flowers That Bloom Once Every 12 Years
Flowers That Bloom Once Every 12 Years – For plant lovers who often complain about flowers that don’t bloom, you should know that there are flowers that only bloom once every 12 years.
Neelakurinji is a shrub found in several Indian states that is distinguished by the fact that the flowers bloom once every 12 years. The appearance of rare flowers has been rigorously attested in 1838, 1850, 1862, 1874, 1886, 1898, 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and most recently 2018.
The flowers are blue to purple and instantly make the surface covered by these flowers when they bloom into a beautiful landscape. The rare sight of the neelakurinji in bloom also attracts a large number of tourists who become a source of seasonal income for local residents.
1. Neelakurinji flowers have an unusual bloom cycle
Neelakurinji or kurinji belongs to Strobilanthes, which is a genus of about 350 species of flowering plants. Many Strobilanthes species have different bloom periods. For example, some bloom after four, eight, 10, 12 or even 16 years. However, the growth of most of them is uneven and almost imperceptible.
The bloom of neelakurinji, which has the scientific name Strobilanthes kunthiana, is hard to miss as it blooms en masse and grows in protected areas. Once in bloom, the neelakurinji will instantly blanket the hills and give off a blue hue which then turns purple towards the end of the season. The neelakurinji bloom usually starts in August and lasts until October, which occurs once every 12 years.
2. Produces rare honey
Seeing the blooming of the neelakurinji is indeed a very interesting moment. However, what is even more appealing to many is the honey that comes from the neelakurinji flower, which is called kurinjithen.
The mass flowering of the neelakurinji flowers attracts an increase in bees for pollination, which in turn leads to the formation of this rare honey. The honey that bees collect from neelakurinji flowers is very sweet, nutritious, and has high medicinal value.
This rarest honey can last more than 15 years. This honey is usually harvested by the indigenous Paliyan tribe and they call it ‘liquid gold’ because of its value. This honey is also not like market honey because it has a transparent color and is slightly greenish yellowish in color.
3. Neelakurinji flower habitat
Neelakurinji flowers usually fill the Nilgiri Hills, Bababudangiri, Cardamom, Palani, and Anamalai. However, there are times when these flowers are present throughout the Chandra Drona Hill Mountains in Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka and Datta Peeta.
Additionally, Ootacumend is home to 33 varieties of kurinji flowers and is popularly called Blue Mountain because of the kurinji flowers that cover the landscape. As well as Ootacumend, one can see bright blue flowers in their splendor at Coonoor, Lamb’s Rock, and Kothagiri.
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4. The habit of blooming neelakurinji according to science
Neelakurinji is a monocarpic plant. That is, each bush reproduces once after flowering and then dies, and it takes a certain amount of time for new seeds to bloom.
This mass flowering every 12 years ensures the survival of the plant. Because, the number of seeds makes predators unable to eat them all. This fact also provides the best opportunity for flowers to be seen and studied.
5. The opportunity to see neelakurinji was lost due to rain and floods
There is a story where locals and tourists alike have to bite their fingers because their 12 years of waiting to witness the neelakurinji flower are in vain. In August 2018 which was also the moment when the neelakurinji bloomed, Kerala was hit by floods that killed 483 people, tens of thousands were evacuated, and more than 10,000 km of roads were damaged.
The neelakurinji flowers need at least 10 days of continuous sunshine to bloom, and the incessant rainfall in the Indian state keeps them from blooming for a month. The neelakurinji flower only blooms in September, but no tourists see it because many tourists have already canceled their visit here. Moreover, in some places, many neelakurinji bushes were washed away by the rain, reducing the beauty of the scenery.