The flower that blooms once in 12 years blooms this year

“THIS is a significant year in the southern Western Ghats: the spectacular blooming of the kurinji plant (Strobilanthes kunthiana) is reaching a climax in the natural grasslands of these lofty mountain ranges. The neelakurinji or kurinji is a unique shrub species that blooms in the high altitudes (between 1,600 metres and 2,695 m) of the Western Ghats every 12 years. The mass flowering and subsequent death of the kurinji is the subject of hill folklore and was documented by the botanist Robert Wight in the mid-19th century.

The last flowering of kurinji was in 1994 and the peak of its 2006 flowering is currently under way.”

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