Neelakurinji is a very rare variety of flower which grows in Kerala. The full-blooming of this flower creates a dream-like panoramic sight that tourists from all over the world wait for.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Neelakurinji before visiting Kerala:
- Neelakurinji blooming takes place once in every 12 years. The last sighting was documented in 2006. Fortunately, you will be able to witness this spectacle in 2018.
2. These mesmerising florets cover the entire hills, valleys and slopes of Munnar in Kerala. It’s a breath-taking experience to watch the green hills beautifully turn blue during this time.
3. The Neelakurinji blooming takes place during spring, starting from August to November. The peak time, however, is September-October.
4. The most attractive feature of the flower is the prime blue colour that is eye-soothing and as they age, the colour turns purplish-blue.
5. The Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains) were named after the blooming carpet of Neelakurinji flowers, since they paint the misty hill ranges in a blue-coloured wrap.
6. The Neelakurinji is a symbol of secret love. The flower has its mentions in 1940’s love-story novel, Kurinji Flowers written by Clare Flynn. The wondrous flowers have a huge impact on the native people of Munnar region who are known to measure their age by the intensity of the bloom. They are devoted to the plant and guide the auspicious shrubs till maturity.
7. Kurinji flowers grow at higher altitudes of 1300 to 2400 metres in a chilly climate. They usually grow 30 to 60 cm high or can even go beyond 180 under pleasant circumstances.
8. There are about 250 subspecies of the mystical flowers, 46 of which grow in India and varies in red or maroon colour as well.
9.The scientific name of Neelakurinji is Strobilanthes kunthianus that falls under the category of Plietesials. The plants of this category grow in flocks and bloom at the same of the year after long intervals and then die, their seeds sprout later and bloom. This makes the plant of the category unique in the flora kingdom.
10.The name Kurinji is derived from the vicinity of Kunthi River that flows beautifully across the renowned Silent Valley National Park in Kerala. Moreover, the nectar Neelakurinji is rich in taste and nutrition. During the flowering season, honeybees flock around the flowers and collect their nectar.
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