Recent Entries to this Blog Plain Jane Flowers Smell Real Good
Posted: 21 Dec 2007
Happy Thanksgiving
Posted: 21 Nov 2007
My Fascination with flowers
Posted: 19 Nov 2007

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Alka Srivastava's Blog

Flowers and such


Plain Jane Flowers Smell Real Good

Category: Floral Musings | Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:05 pm

I was researching about floral fragrance for an article for my other blog. Many interesting and new things came up as I looked into the books. Of course, the essential oils are the main components in many flowers that are used in perfume industries. But what I found interesting and what logically seemed correct, yet I had never paid attention to, was this fact: The less conspicuous, less vibrant/white or pale flowers have strong fragrance but the ones that are brightly colored do not invest much in building fragrance. For example, only the yellow and white cultivated freesias have a strong smell. The small white colored jasmine flowers pack a punch in a single drop of their essential oil extract. Tuberoses, Cestrum nocturnum or the "queen of the night" as it is known in India or coral jasmine, all have white colored, strong but pleasant smelling flowers.

It makes sense to me. Flowers use colors and fragrance to attract pollinators. So the ones that have brightly colored flowers are anyways well endowed with features to attract the insects. Why waste more resources?

Then, of course, there are flowers that stink and are called carrion flowers. European Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia clematitis) is one such plant whose flowers emit a strong, pungent odor that attract insects. These stinkers use deception to attract the scavenging insects which bring about their pollination. Well, to each his own!! In this race to survive, every creature has made the most of whatever circumstances and advantages the wily nature has provided. The more you look at the contrivances and deceptions of the floral world, the more it leaves you amazed and in awe.


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Happy Thanksgiving

Category: Floral Musings | Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:06 pm

Thanksgiving is here. Soon it will be Christmas and then New Year. Time for getting together with family and friends. A time to surround ourselves with the warmth of love of our near and dear ones as the weather seemingly gives us a cold shoulder.

But I am high on one other thing. The Anticipation!!
I am looking forward for Spring! Coming originally from the plains of India which is a sub-tropical country, I had not experienced such stark changes in the weather earlier. I experienced my first snow-fall in the USA. I love the way the fall colors set a whole scenery at fire.

But it is spring for which I wait with bated breath. It is as though through winter Mother Nature sighs with content and leisure; like resting after a long toil of working wonders through the year. And then around spring, she gets up, claps her hands and decides "Enough rest! lets get back to work". The Robin brings in her message and the plants shiver and shudder and come out of the long slumber. And suddenly they are all in a hurry to flower. Aah!! the wonderful, intoxication of the floral scents that waft the air. Its time to feast ones eyes. A sudden burst of color and beauty. Nothing is more glorious or magical than the wonders of nature. We just need to get in touch with it!

Just as winters remind us how important our family and friends are to us, Spring should remind us of our close association with Nature. But for the anticipation of the colors of flowers and new leaves, the scents of the blooms and the chirping of the birds that spring brings, winter would lose its charm!




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My Fascination with flowers

Category: Floral Musings | Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:24 pm

Since childhood, I have been drawn to flowers like moths to fire. As a youngster I would pluck any flower that held my attention, no matter how many times my parents reprimanded me for this embarrassing habit. Well, it was embarrassing to them; to me it was an immense source of joy. But unlike other kids, my mother tells me, after plucking the flower I used to very carefully keep the flower with me even after it dried.

Growing up cured me of this quirkiness. Now, I love to look at flowers on plants and can very well restrain myself from plucking them, but they still fascinate me. Instead of plucking them, now I try to read and inform myself about flowers and their fascinating lives. I write about them on my blog and try to compile information on these sources of joy.

I also like reading about flowering plants.Recently, I read this very clever book by Carol Klein, who has categorized plant into such groups as "the Cinderella plants" or "shooting Stars" based on their habitat or certain characteristics. The pictures in the book are beautiful and I just loved the way the authors have used some of the characteristics of the plants for grouping them.

Flowers are a boon in this ever complicated, ever busy life of man. No wonder they say that one should stop and smell the roses. I feel, a beautiful flower has this amazing power, like a young toddler or a baby, that can make you hold your breath and stay enchanted for a few moments in which you can forget the hurries and worries of the daily life.

Last edited: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:27 pm

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