Transect through East Delhi

The monsoon was late arriving and plants, including trees, were showing water stress.  On Sunday, July 1st, a week before the rains finally arrived, at 7 in the morning I took a walk down Vikas Marg following the Metro to the bridge to see how the street landscape put in during the Commonwealth Games was performing.  I also recorded some details, or lack thereof, along the way.  On our way back, we took the bus!

First, the transect slideshow:

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The area around the new clover-leaf junction has been planted thickly with different species.  With a scorching summer and delayed rains, the expanse of bamboo was all yellowed and highly stressed (but has rebound since with the rains).  The stone pitching in one place is inter-planted with Hamelia patens which was looking sparse but still happy.  At the bottom of the slope I spotted tall (about 5′, and a good 4′ spread), spreading shrub that I have not seen before.  In contrast to everything around it was looking lush with heavy foliage.  It has grey-green foliage and purple flowers and was striking in how well it was dealing with the drought-like conditions at the bottom of the stone pitching.  I haven’t yet identified the shrub but I really like it and will find out more about it. [PS: The shrub is Purple Sage]

On the bridge, plantings of Canna sp. seem inappropriate for Delhi’s summers and have whittled down to bare sprouts at best and are gone for the most part.  Clerodendrum enerme, though, is looking so lush you wouldn’t believe it has been dealing with temperatures above 40 degree C and hardly any moisture! Along with Lantana, it gets my vote for the best street-side groundcover for Delhi!  Pandas were totally burnt; says a lot about its drought tolerance!


Hamelia patens planted on the stone-pitched bank


Mystery shrub Detail


Happy Sheesham (Dalbergia sisoo)


Young Semals (Bombax ceiba) on a slope with tips of leaves showing some heat stress.

Singed Ficus nitida Pandas!

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  1. […] drought hardy plant I spotted on my morning walk has been identified.  It is a desert-adapted plant called Leucophyllum frutescens (click for […]



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