A two-day chrysanthemum show-cum-sale, displaying different varieties of the flowering plant, commenced on the premises of Dr Manmohan Singh Auditorium at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, Tuesday.
The event, which is in the series of PAU’s diamond jubilee celebrations, was dedicated to eminent Punjabi poet, Bhai Vir Singh, who was an ardent lover of chrysanthemum flowers and mentioned them in his several poems.
Multiple varieties of chrysanthemum in varied hues presented a rich feast to the eyes of spectators at PAU campus. The attendees will get to see over 150 different chrysanthemum types in over 3,000 pots that are arranged in several categories.
A gold medal for M.Sc floriculture students was instituted in the honour of Dr APS Gill, an illustrious former professor of floriculture at PAU, by Avtaar Singh Dhindsa, a renowned exporter of flower seeds.
Inaugurating the show, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, vice-chancellor, PAU, said that although flowers symbolise love and care, they may also represent a variety of other feelings, such as pleasure, happiness, admiration, and adoration as well as sympathy, thanks, or an apology. He said that Punjab farmers can tap the potential of commercial flower farming, which also presents a viable alternative for crop diversification.
Explaining the significance of chrysanthemums across various cultures and countries, Dr Gosal said that these flowers have long been associated with friendship and well-wishes; Buddhists use them as offerings for their potent Yang energy; in China, they are customarily given to the elderly as a symbol of long life; in Australia, they are the recognized flower for Mother’s Day because of their nickname “mums”; and in Belgium and Austria, they are almost exclusively used as memorial flowers to honour loved ones and are the flowers of choice for funerals. Chrysanthemum tea is also served to the monks for its calming effect which aids concentration during meditation, he revealed.
Dr Parminder Singh, head, department of floriculture and landscaping, informed that PAU has developed about 50 hybrid varieties of flowering crops, of which, 20 chrysanthemum varieties have been released for general cultivation and pot culture in Punjab. The department is a leading centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for conducting research on this flower. He said the major aim of the show is to motivate the people to grow chrysanthemum flowers for landscape use and commercial cultivation.
Dr R.K. Dubey, coordinator of the show, said a competition of 12 classes of chrysanthemum was also held during the show, which received as many as 125 entries with pots running in thousands. The prize distribution ceremony will be conducted on December 7. People could also buy flowering pots of chrysanthemum at the show, he added.
The show will remain open for visitors till 5 pm on December 7. Varieties including Alfred Wilson, Thai Ching Queen, Boris Wilson, Cassa Granda, Obsession, Garden Beauty, Mother Teresa, Yellow Charm, Kelvin Mandrain etc were the major attraction for the visitors.