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Kurinji flowers in Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu)

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Tamil Nadu
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Capital city - Chennai
Ideal time to Visit - October to March.
A large part of the state being on the coastal edge of the country, the weather is tropical and sultry for most part of the year. The summer months of April, May, June are hottest where temperature ranges to 40 degrees.

December and January are the peak months for Chennai. The temp ranges from 20-22 degrees. To avoid peak rush October is better. The weather in these months is pleasant and easy to bear the humidity.
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Kurinji Flowers

Species of Stroilanthes grow wild on the Nilgiri ranges between 6000 to 7000 feet. Stroilanthes belongs to Acanthaceae, one of the natural orders among the flowering plants. Stroilanthes is derived from two Greek words meaning " a flower relating to resembling a cone", that is cone-head.

There are over 200 species of Stroilanthes, nearly all in Asia, and over 150 species occur in India, especially in Western Ghats and Nilgiris alone claims more than thirty species. Many of the species flower only at a long interval, such as between six and twelve years usually, and in some, even at longer intervals like 35 years. There are also some annuals. Over the years the area over which it occurs has become less and less due to increasing cultivation.


The most common and best known species, Stroilanthes Kunthianus (Kurinji) occurs on the dry slopes of the eastern side of the hills, where there is little or no tree forest. It is tall bushy shrub, sometimes eight to ten feet high, and covered with a profusion of bright blue bell-like flowers.

As in the case of the bamboo, they grow for a number of years, until at the appointed time of maturity, they all burst into flowers, mature their seed, die down and disappear.The flowering appears once in 12 years.

One interesting result of the gregarious flowering of Stroilanthes is the largest increase in bees found in its vicinity during the flowering period. Immense quantities of honey become available and the rock bees and common hill bees visit the plant.