Dec 12, 2008

The Crowd

While Stars and Superstars do make a city famous and known, it’s the audience, the normal denizens of the place complete the city and there are those aspiring stars, who’re like the laymen, in Plantville too. It’s said that Iruvâkshî (iru-vaak-shii - variety of Jasmine whose botanical name or common English name I’m unable to find yet) is the oldest resident of Plantville.

Iruvâkshî (Tamil)

Everyone lovingly call her the Old Hag though she looks ever-young. She boasts that she’s lived over eons and that she doesn’t remember how old she exactly is. Citraka (Plumbago) and Yello Rain Lily always burst into a laugh whenever she says that.

Left - Rainlily Yellow Zephyranthes citrina

Right - Plumbago - Plumbago auriculata - Citraka

Iruvâkshî says that knows all the ancient lays and is the source of entertainment for the inhabitants of Plantville. The Old Hag never goes short of bed-time stories. She promised to tell me some, so that I can share them with you in future, but it’s quite a trick to get it out of her, as most of the time she’d ramble on about incomprehensible stuff. She shares her room with the poor Jasmine (yet another variety I am yet to identify), who’s bored of her rambles.


Recently two little cutting babies joined the troop and they love their ‘gra-mma’ and her stories.

Wingpod Purslane - Portulaca umbraticola

Kiss Me Quick, Pink Purslane - Portulaca pilosa

The naughty kiddo too loves her (I’m not sure who it is – could be Zinnia) too.

The Hari Champa always drones whenever she begins her stories. Or for that matter I’ve never seen him awake (See if you can spot him at the back).

His roommate – Miss Crape adores her granny and blooms feverishly out of delight whenever the granny’s stories mention her ancestors.

Crape Jasmine Flore Pleno - Tabernaemontana divaricata 'Flore Pleno' - Adukku Nandiar Vattai (Tamil)

The duo teens – Orange and Mini Red Roses always make fun of her throwing thorns at her and whenever she looked at them questioningly, they’d wear sorry faces that’d melt the granny.

Orange and Mini Red Rose

The Proud Nick and Holy Basil, though hidden are almost always the center of attraction in the stories. They'd always be praised by granny for their flowers and leaves are one of Lord Krishna’s favorite.

Coral Jasmine - Nyctanthes arbor-tristis - Pârijâta (Sanskrit) Holy Basil - Tulasî

Bael was no less famous in the troop and he was also shared most of her stories and his unknown roommate would silently listen to the lays – no one cares for her, as she prefers not to be.

Bael - Aegle Marmelos - Bilva/Sivadruma (Sanskrit)

It’s Asoka who removed the sadness of all in Plantville after the expiry of their dear friend and her roommate, who’s recovering from his illness.

Sorrowless Tree - Saraca indica - Asoka

Rangoon Creeper - Quisqualis indica

The grandma says that the Spinach (to be identified) is one of the ancient one too – that they’ve witnessed the birth of moon! At which everyone gave out a low, ‘Oooooooh….’

Spinach - Siru keerai (Sanskrit)

Pommy, after her initial attack by some disease and lots of pruning, injections, and drugs, finally began regaining consciousness and finally knew that the world was alive around her and realized Chicky had populated her room.

Pomegranate - Punica granatum - Dâdima

Chicken Weed - Portulaca quadritida - Pasalai keerai (Tamil)

Wax Rose – one of the elders in the city would take care of the other residents and had no time for the Hag’s rambles. She was the one who rescue the Ixora from the hurricane and tended her, encouraging her to bloom once again.

Wax Rose - Pereskia bleo

Dwarf Ixora Pink - Ixora coccinea

The only resident of the Plantville who’d very sincerely and dedicatedly listen to grandma’s stories was Olie, who never became tired of her stories.

Dwarf Oleander - Nerium oleander - Karavîra

In the hot and sunny days the lily (to be identified – Daylily?) would fan everyone as they droned and listened to granny’s legends.

Hope I can get some of her legends for you soon. As I said it’s a tricky job as she’s a tough ol’ hag!


Kanak Hagjer said...

Many head-turners in that crowd! I especially love the wax rose and the dwarf oleander. I guess the legends will take their time. I know how old people-- oops, plants are!!

Rose said...

I am happy to know that you are at home safe and sound once again, Chandramouli. I love your telling of the Hurricane's approach in an earlier post and here the story of your plants--I feel as if I'm reading an ancient legend--beautifully written!

One must respect one's elders--Granny Jasmine would certainly be welcome in my garden, but I don't think she would find the growing conditions here suitable for her.

Thank you for picturing the oleander--I saw so many of these plants in Arizona, but no one knew what they were. You've helped me identify it!

Susie said...

Thanks again for visiting my blog Chandramouli. I especially enjoyed reading this post. That wax rose is a beautiful plant. Your oleander is lovely. Thanks for the "old hag" story.

Chandramouli S said...

Kanak: Wax Rose is my fave too, but she's too very fussy - blooms only when the sun is full, else she'd hardly open her bud and remain that way until she drops it. I'm trying to tease the information out of her and she's slowly opening - the Old Hag.

Rose: Thank you for the kind comments, Rose. Though everyone call Miss Jasmine Old Hag, she's adored by everyone for her kindness and she's my fave too.

I'm glad that I did help you in some way.

Susie: Hi, Welcome to Plantville. Hope you had a nice time here. Thank you for the kind comments :) Hope to earn the same in future too.

James (Digtoplant) said...

Glad you called in at my blog. your writing is thought provoking and your plants so different.

Chandramouli S said...

It's my pleasure, James. I enjoy reading your blog and glad you liked mine.

Antigonum Cajan said...

I ask again, do you make your own soil, or buy it?

All your collection of plants is fine. Most original is giving respect to some that are considered weeds here, such as Portulacas. I congratulate you
for your wide scope in gardening.

Most amazing, is that all is in pots, having much more interest
than many other collections in easier surroundings.

In my case, Ixoras, all were exiled.
In Puerto Rico, it is impossible to get rid of Whiteflies, no matter what, even if planted in the exact

Until then.