Nature Quest: The firetree | The Daily Star
12:10 AM, September 29, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:49 PM, January 20, 2018

Nature Quest: The firetree

I go for a photography outing whenever I can, frequenting Ramna Park the most, as it is closest to my house. Next to Ramna, lies the Botanical garden and Balda garden.

Come spring, my forays to the Botanical garden increase, yielding a discovery of a flower every year or two.

Once, I was surprised to see a golden- yellow flower, a species I hadn't seen before. The flower was perched atop a high tree, giving off the illusion of it being caught in a beautiful flame.

I had passed this tree a number of times but had never noticed the flower before. The flowers hung from the topmost branches. The trunk of the tree was smooth. Botanist Shamsul Huq informed me that the tree was a fern koroi, also known as bhat koroi or yellow fern koroi.

To the best of my knowledge, this tree is not found anywhere else in the country. Around 1988, the then forest conservator, Suresh Das, planted this tree here, enhancing the variety of colours in the area.  Recently another sapling has grown from the fruit of this tree.

Though the tree is named fern koroi (Schizolobium parahyba), also known as the Brazilian firetree, it hardly bears any similarity with the fern or the rain tree. It is perhaps more like the peltophorum (Kanakchura).

 It is a deciduous tree and can grow up to 15 to 20 meters. The trunk is roundish with the branches high up. The tender trunk is green having a buttress towards the root. The leaves are divided. The prime flowering season is from March to April. The fruits have only one stone and they procreate through this stone. The timber too is tender.  

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