Agra Wants To Become ‘Bougainvillea Capital’ Of India
AGRA (IANS) – Passionate tree lovers of the Taj city on December 6 resolved to turn Agra into the “Bougainvillea capital” of India, in the next few years.
Already large stretches along and around the grand Mughal monuments are lined with Bougainvillea vines exploding in a riot of fascinating colors.
The Bougainvillea crusader Mukul Pandya who has organized an exhibition of Bougainvillea plants, close to the Taj Mahal, said that Bougainvillea is ideally suited for Agra, as the vines or bushes are sturdy, suited to the local agro-climatic conditions, requiring very little water and care.
A native of South America, Bougainvillea now finds patrons and lovers all over India. Pandya recounted the love story of a French adventurer and his girlfriend of the same name, who brought the colorful bushy plant from South America in the 18th century.
Essentially Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees belonging to the ‘Four O’clock Family’, consisting of sepal-like bracts that surround the waxy colorful leaves of the plants that thrive in hot and dry conditions.
Of the around 300 varieties, Pandya has successfully grown 100 varieties. He has succeeded in grafting single plants with several colorful strains.
“Some 50 years ago, I began collecting different varieties and planted them on my terrace which eventually caved in due to the weight of flowerpots. Agra has taken a fancy for Bougainvillea.
“Locals are planting Bougainvillea in a big way along boundaries, and open spaces. Several parks in the city have hundreds of Bougainvillea plants.”
Ranjna Bansal, patron of the Club said that their dream is to turn Agra into a Bougainvillea capital.