Marakurinji flowers in Munnar
Strobilanthes
MUNNAR, October 18, 2018. Marakurinji, a variety of kurinji that can grow up to 10 metres, has flowered near Kolukkumala and Eravikulam National Park near Munnar.

Marakurinji (Strobilanthes gracilis) is called so because it can grow to be a tree (Maram in Malayalam means tree). Of more than 60 varieties of Strobilanthes species found on the Western Ghats, only a few grow beyond the size of bush.

Blossoms of marakurinji can be seen on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border on way to Kolukkumala. Journey to Kolukkumala by jeep is arduous and back-breaking. But, it can easily be spotted on the side of the road adjoining Nyayamakad tea estate (road going to Marayur from Rajamala).

The plant has also flowered in the Eravikulam National Park. They can be seen some distance from the entrance of Eravikulam National Park in the tourist area at Rajamala. A small tree can also be seen near the forest temple in the tourist area by the side of a stream.

Strobilanthes gracilis flowers once in ten years. It flowered last at Eravikulam National Park in 2008.

Another variety of kurinji, Strobilanthes pulneyensis, has also flowered in the national park.


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