The Champa flower

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 Rabindranath Tagore, the greatest poet and Noble Prize winner for literature has written a beautiful poetry which describes impish yet a very tender and affectionate relationship between the mother and child titled ‘The Champa Flower.’ In this poetry the child asks his mother – ‘how would have it been if he was a Champa flower, just for fun, and grew on a branch high up on the  tree, and shook in the wind with laughter and danced upon the newly budded leaves’. The poetry narrates the child’s vivid imagination, mother’s anxiousness about her child’s wellbeing. And, whenever I read this beautiful poetry I feel Rabindranath Tagore chose Champa flower as theme of his poetry because of its attractiveness and exuberance!

We find some half a dozen varieties of Champa. Kath Champa flowers are strictly not summer flowers, as they will remain in full bloom from spring to right beyond the rainy season. Whereas the brightest red among them is called ‘Gulancha’ – a rather poetic name which Rabindranath Tagore named. Please do visit Shantiniketan, you will find a verity of Chapma trees red, white, faint yellow, green. Tagore was fond of nature, and flowers find coveted place in his writings too.

The fragrance of Champa is placid. It is popular for its delicate scent and has been a part of the Indian culture right from ancient days. It is used in religious ceremonies especially for Goddess Laxmi. Champa flowers are used to make some of the world’s most expensive perfumes as well. It’s called Chaaphaa in Marathi, Chenbakam in Tamil, Chenbagam in Malyalam, Shornochampa in Bengali, Cempaka or Sampangi in Telgu and Sampige in Kannada.

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champa3The flowers are used in Southeast Asia for several purposes. Especially in India, they are primarily used for worship. It is a very famous patterned tree. But very few know that the tree can be a very good Agro forestry tree as well. Golden Champa (Michelia) is an evergreen tree and mainly cultivated for its strongly fragrant yellow or white flowers. The beautiful yellow colour of the flower is used for extracting yellow dye, which is a base for other colours. An aromatic scent of the flower is used for commercial purpose; there is a famous ‘Joy’ perfume sold in the market which it seems is the most expensive perfume in the world; hence sometimes Champa tree is also called as Joy Perfume tree. The Golden Champa is a well-known, tall, handsome tree with a straight trunk and spreading branches, and belongs to the plant family ‘Magnoliaceae’.

Golden Champa is a useful agro forestry tree; it secures the atmospheric nitrogen in soil. Its leaves provide very useful mulch. It improves the soil under tree cover by increasing the soil’s pH value and organic carbon and obtainable phosphorus. Hence it is used for reforesting badly eroded areas. Its leaves are used as larval fodder by silkworms & butterflies. It has a potential commercial purpose as well. The petals and leaves are used for medicinal oil. Champa trees are good for wayside purpose and are often planted in the temple premises. The tree is hardly ever cut on account of it being considered as sacred. It can be propagated by seeds but seeds should be sown as soon as possible after collection.

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The trees possess highly medicinal properties. Leafs extract and seeds extracts have fungicidal and antibacterial properties respectively. After childbirth the ladies are given decoction of the bark and leaves; the bark is used as a febrifuge. In Ayurveda, the tree is mentioned to pacify vitiated tridosha. It detoxifies poison, worm infestation, increase digestive power, diuretic and cures fever. Flowers reduce burning sensation, cures skin disease such as leprosy and ulcers.

Champa trees grow in backyard; they are sturdy and don’t really need too much of caretaking. The aroma of the flower emits a unique warm fragrance which pacifies stressful mind allowing one to relax and breathe easily. The perfume of Champa has a soothing effect.  Truly the tree and flower are divine; perhaps that’s why lyricists could not resist using its reference in poetries and songs.

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Over the course of my life, I have done all possible jobs that one can think of – front desk assistant, telephone operator, clerical work, accounts assistant, inventory officer, sales woman, sales manager, tutor, lecturer, professor, director...etc. The range of job designations and experience of working in diverse roles has given me strength to think, help people, increase customer satisfaction, promote products, and off course build brands. When I look back at my career, in some jobs I excelled, in some I continued with odds. But the fact is that the diversity in my career has strengthened me as a person and definitely enhanced my skills. Every job taught me something or the other. I love meeting people, reading, travelling, listening to music, cooking, gardening, teaching, writing. Blogging has been a recent addition and am loving it. It has become my biggest hobby. Blogging has changed my life. My blog is wide-ranging manifestation of the way I think. I am a creative individual; I write because I have the urge to translate expressions of life. Over the years I studied and added some degrees as well. I have a PhD in Marketing Management from University of Pune, a post doctoral D.Litt (Doctor of letters) from Mumbai University in strategic management. I am a Professor of Management Studies with 16 years of teaching experience and have over 20 years industry experience. My core teaching areas are Marketing Strategy and General Management. As a teacher, I have always maintained the academic rigor in my classroom, I have always believed and practiced academic engagement while lecturing, I believe in experiential teaching-learning. I truly believe that education is interdisciplinary; therefore I have successfully guided 15 students for their PhD degree across various sectors in business management which includes a broad base of research coursework coupled with an area of specialization. I write on various management topics, research, news and higher education for students. And, the general section of articles on my blog relate to my interests in life. Happy reading to you all!

10 COMMENTS

  1. Madam your inquisitiveness for knowledge is being transferred to ppl like me. For u it must be a penchant for writing but for students it is like a mini chapter of encyclopedia. Thank u n may God. Bless U .

  2. I bought a yellow champa small tree about 4 yrs ago. Last yr, it gave only two thin long petal flowers with no fragrance. Same thing this yr again. I’ll be very thankful if u give me suggestion what to do to correct the problem.

  3. I have planted 2 white champa infront of my house but some ppls says that champa is not good tree according vastu infront of house can u suggest me anythg abt this

    • Replying to Vishal Joshi who wrote: “I have planted 2 white champa in front of my house but some people say that champa is not good tree according vastu in front of house can u suggest anything about this?”

      If your front door is to the North or East which is where the “good planetary vibrations due to earth’s spin” are coming from then according to Vastuu one should not plant ANY tree (it blocks the good vibrations from entering). Trees are preferred in the south and south-west…. but that may not suit you for other reasons.

      If your front door is to the South or West, this rule may or may not apply – check with Vastuu expert.

  4. On 28th Fab. 2016, I puchased, potted and placed Swarn Champa plant in my balcony. Since, I live in Nainital (a cold place), I fear whether my plant will survive and will produce flower.
    Your expert comment is awited.

  5. madam very nice to read about you and your experience i learnt about sampangi flower from you. i have 8 acre land in nellore and i understand in my soil conditions this will grow but i want to check with you can i be able to sell these flowers? the yield is almost 3 to 4 kgs a tree and in one acre 350 trees can be planted in short i can plant about say 3000 trees the yield will start from 15 months onwards
    do you have any idea where i can concentrate i mean which all sectors other than flower markets which are normally very unpreductive one is export market whether pharma manufacturers will also need this flower in bulk madam any other idea pl suggest

    phone no 9841095700 chennai

  6. i can source the best of the best variety champa flower plants in andhra pradesh

    i want to know once i plant a grafted plant big ones how long will it take to yield initially
    what is the water requirement for this plant what yield can i expect from a fully grown tree

    madam is there any technology deleoped for plucking these flowers because the tree grows too tall
    scientists like you must have come across of easier methods in plucking these flowers can you please share

    in the flower markets they are selling at very high prices per kg 1000 in chennai even if i get one fourth of that i can be very successful my land is suitable sourcing plants no issues
    there is a wild bore menace in my area will it effect this plant ?

    any other issues please let me know

    in this regard i am willing to learn more and travel to meet you and your department to understand better and impement under your guidance.
    i can also prepare organic materials like panchagavyam etc basic organic cultivation
    infact feel like meeting you in this regard i live in chennai

    i am basically a graduate engineer and post graduate in law
    now completely into farming after 30 years of service.

  7. Where can I get seeds for planting all varieties of Champa flowers on varandah in or around AHMEDABAD. The temp varies from 10 degrees Celsius in winters to 50 degrees Celsius in summers?
    Can you arrange to get me the same?

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