News & Notes 705:The Tree Rose
The Tree Rose
- “A recent publication by scientists with the Botanical Survey of India has documented and stressed the need to protect the many unique varieties of Rhododendron - literary 'tree rose' in Greek - found in the region with 18 species endemic to India” (The Hindu - 2 - 11.6.17, p. 12).
Around the Auroville Nature Camp, not far from Kodaikanal, there are the farms and the Australian’s trees - Acacia (wattle) and Eucalyptus. The camp is situated on 1800m above sea level. But not so far from the camp, at 2000m, there are sholas - the ecosystems which is the richest in indigenous species of plants and animals.
Once the children walked from the camp to the shola and shouted: “Hibiscus!” Really what they saw are the red flowers of Rhododendron arborescens. Hibiscus is an Auroville’s symbol but it is absent near the camp. According to the Mother, the Rhododendron’s spiritual name is “Abondance de beaute” (Abundance of beauty). I didn’t see any kind of Rhododendron in Auroville. Rhododendron arborescens in the sholas is the big bush or small tree. Its red flowers are very beautiful.
Not far from Rhododendron arborescens can be seen the bright flowers of the white rose - according to the Mother, its spiritual name is “Amour Integral pour le Divine” (Integral love for the Divine). The white rose in the shola is the big bush.
I found very rare plants - tree fern, Cyathea giganthea - only 1 specimen, within 1 km from the camp. A long time ago the tree fern was common in the Kodaikanal region. Maybe all these three species of the plants were in the past in the place of contemporary Auroville.