In India, people enjoy a wealth of endemic and naturalized flowering plants for their horticultural attributes. The great diversity of trees, shrubs and flowers throughout the country has religious, spiritual, mythological and medicinal associations. These associations touch many walks of life in India, being immortalized in art and literature, used for healing purposes and celebrated in temple grounds, gardens and parks for their natural beauty.
The kadam or kadamb (Neolamarckia cadamba) is a perennial tree, native to India. In religious mythology, it was the favorite tree of Lord Krishna, and the mother goddess known by different names including Durga, Parvati, Radha Krishna, who lived in a kadam forest. The kadam grows to a height of around 140 feet with an umbrella-shaped crown, and tiered branches. Its flowers are like small orange colored globes, with yellow or orange fruit capsules that release thousands of seeds. This tree has numerous medicinal uses in treating digestive disorders, diarrhoea, fever and vomiting, among other conditions. The kadam is a member of the Rubiaceae or coffee family.
The peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is a native perennial shrub of India. The continuously flowering, red-orange or yellow blooms grow in clusters on very long and straight stems that look like the plumes of peacocks. This flowering shrub retains its leaves year round. It usually grows to a height of about 9 to 10 feet, preferring full sun, well-drained soil and a tropical climate. The peacock flower is a member of the Gulmohar family. As a note of interest, the Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) is the national bird of India.
In 2007, India released a set of four scented stamps honoring the country's roses. A rose fragrance-based ink provided the scent for the stamps. The theme, "Fragrance of Roses," featured the Indian rose varieties called "Delhi Princess," "Jawahar," "Neelam" and "Bhim." Each of the commemorated roses has special characteristics. For example, the large-flowered hybrid tea rose Jawahar dates from 1980 and is a cross between "Sweet Afton" and "Delhi Princess." In India, roses are popular in residential and public gardens as well as for making garlands and for religious offerings. The National Rose Garden at Chanakya Puri in Delhi is home to India's own roses, as well as some of the world's most exclusive rose species. The garden is open to the public and of special interest to those interested to learn more about the botanical characteristics of roses. The best time to visit this National Rose Garden is during the winter months of December and January, when India's roses are in full bloom.