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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Karnataka’s Mandalpatti Hills get covered by rare flowers which bloom once every 12 years

Neelakurinji -- also known as Strobilanthes kunthiana -- bloom once every 12 years, and belong to a shrub found in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats in the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
August 20, 2021 5:30:31 pm
Neelakurinji, Neelakurinji flowers, Neelakurinji blooming, Neelakurinji blooming in Karnataka, Neelakurinji blooming after 12 years, rare flowers Neelakurinji, indian express newsNeelakurinji flowers blooming in Ooty, Nilgiris. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Nature is a wonderful thing. It reminds of the fact that even amid all the tension, the world is a beautiful place. Neelakurinji — also known as Strobilanthes kunthiana — blooming in Mandalpatti Hills in Karnataka’s Kodagu district is proof.

It is said that these flowers bloom once every 12 years. They belong to a shrub found in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats in the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, Nilgiri Hills, which means ‘blue hills’, get their name from the bluish-purplish flowers that are Neelakurinji.

And so, this rare sight caught everyone’s attention on social media, when the first pictures were shared by ANI. Take a look.

Did you know?

The Kurinji flowers grow at an altitude of 1,300 to 2,400 metres. While the shrub is usually 30 to 60 cm high, it can grow well beyond 180 cm, too, under congenial conditions.

The plant belongs to the genus Strobilanthes which, it is said, was first scientifically described by Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck in the 19th century. The genus has around 250 species, and 46 of these are found in India alone.

Most of these flower species have an unusual flowering behaviour, which results from annual blooming to a 16-year blooming cycle.

After the news of the flowers blossoming spread, PC Mohan, Lok Sabha MP from Bengaluru Central also shared a few pictures of the hills blanketed by these purple flowers on Twitter. “Kurinji, rare purplish-blue flowers, bloom on Kodagu’s Mandalpatti Hills after 12 years,” he wrote.

Despite the pandemic, people are believed to be excitedly making their way to the hills so as to catch a glimpse of this rare beauty. It is said that Anamalai Hills and Santhanpara are some of the areas in Kerala’s Munnar where the Kurinji blossoms. In fact, Anamalai Hills is the most famous attraction that brings tourists from around the country.

The blooms happened last week, and the entire region was soon covered by the purple beauty. More hills will be covered by these rare flowers in the next few days.

It is believed that these plants also possess medicinal value.

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