Candle Bush attracts bees and butterflies to your garden
Ever since I saw them growing in the small patch of garden, parallel to the tracks at Dombivali Station and maintained by the malis of Central Railway I had wanted to grow them. The flowers at the end of the stem were long and only later did I come to know that they were called “Candle Bush”. I bought a sapling from Yamunabagh Nursery at Badlapur and planted it last October.
“Did it rain,” I ask Billal, my autorickshaw driver, who picks me up from Badlapur station on Sundays and later drops me back. The roadsides are damp. The fields still holding the stalks of harvested paddy.
“It rained very heavy on Saturday evening,” he answered.
There was surprise waiting for me at the farm. The soil was damp, the trees heavy with raindrops and the day still cloudy. November is the best time to be outdoors.
Yellow flowers greeted me, grown from a bush hardly three foot from the ground. A perennial shrub, the flower resembling fat candles. You’re unlikely to come across such pure yellow colour in nature as in this flower. That’s reason it attracts bees and butterflies.
Also called ringworm shrub, it belongs to the gulmohur family and is called Dadmurdan in Hindi. Its Botanical name is Senna alata. The leaves are commonly used for treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. The decoctions of the leaves are also used to treat bronchitis and asthma. Because of its anti-fungal properties, it is a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and lotions in the Philippines.