Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crossandra infundibuliformis, Firecracker flower or Kanakambaram

our shrub in the backyard

never ending blooms!

very cool seed packet i found at a roadside seed seller in chidambaram

my harvest for today's garland

tying on

making my way, pair by pair, knot by knot

final garland

i had a blast today doing something that i've always wanted to do, but never got around to it - making flower garlands to wear in my hair. one of the simple luxuries of being in india is always being able to buy flowers in the market to tie in your hair. while usually they are made of jasmine, these kanakambaram (Tamil) flowers are another favorite. when i was little i would always prefer these bright orange flowers to the fragrant white jasmine. the flowers last a couple of days without wilting and the peduncles (flower stalks) are strong and forgiving when tying the flowers together.

we're lucky to have a large shrub in the back yard that seems to unceasingly produce flowers. i harvested a handful and sat down to begin stringing.

you start by taking two flowers and tying then end to end together with a knot. then you continue to add pairs until you have a full "maram" (as they sell them in the market) or arms length worth.

i was brainstorming on what sturdy and florabundant plants we could use in the bay area to make garlands, any ideas?


Sanathana Dharma Project said...

Kanakaambaram grows in Texas weather.
Perhaps it can be grown in CA also.

Jellicles Farm said...

how lovely! both the blog and kanakambaram! i have a small farm in sunol, ca(alameda county..its called jellicles farm)..i would love to grow kanakambaram. do you have any seeds for trade/barter? would love to have you visit the farm. i am growing vadamalli(gompherna) this year to make garlands with marigolds(south indian style!..i am from chennai.)

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This striking plant, also known as Crossandra undulifolia, is a small shrub from the rain forests of southern India and Sri Lanka.From spring to late fall, the flowers—in shades of yellow, orange, and red—rise in twos and threes from upright tufts of green bracts.
Crossandra Infundibuliformis Acanthaceae Firecracker Flower Plant care propagation guide