Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crossandra Flowers

Crossandra- Kankambaram


Crossandra flowers bloom in shades of orange, yellow and a mixture of these two colours. In Telugu they are known as Kanakambaram. In fact the colour- mixture of orange and yellow and pink itself is called as Kankambaram colour. These are also known as Firecracker flowers . In some places in India, these flowers are also known as Priyadarsha or Priyadarshini. These flowers have different names in different regions of India.These are native to India, Srilanka and Nepal.

It is believed that these are favourite flowers of Lord HanumaLord Subrahmanya Goddess Laksmi and Goddess  Lalitha and offering them these flowers will please them. They are used for religious ceremonies as offerings to Gods and Goddesses and are also worn by our Indian women in their hair. They are strung together to form Gajras (Hindi) or Mala in (Telugu)-that is lenghts of woven flowers- woven together using yarn made out of cotton, or plant fiber like jute, banana etc..These are worn in the hair by the women. Garlands are also made for offering to Gods and Goddesses or for use in festive occasions like marriages etc.  Other flowers like Jasmine and fragrant leaves of Maruvam and Dawanam are also used for making these Malas.

Here take a look at the flowers blooming in my garden...
     Yellow Kankambaram

This is the yellow shade. It is bright in colour. 

      Green Kankambaram

Though the most common and popular colours are orange, yellow and a mixture of these colours known as Kankambaram shade, we have green and blue shades too. Unfortunately, I lost blue shaded one last Summjer and I could not photograph them. 


This is Maruvam-the fragrant stems with leaves are used in garland along with flowers like Jasmine, Crossandra etc.

One good thing about these flowers is that they keep for a couple of days without wilting even if worn in hair- provided we have not applied oil to our hair. We wear it in hair with the help of a hair clip, then remove it and keep in cloth drenched in water or refrigerator. If they come in contact with oiled hair they wilt quickly.

Here is one place where you can see how they are worn in hair by Indian women:

Here is a Kankambarm shade sari I have:
This is one of my favourite shades...


Lakshmi said...

i just love kanakambaram..when we were kids in village had plenty of them..we all girls use to make big malas and put them in our long plaits.
My mominlaw told- if we offer kanakambara mala to Lord Rama he will help to keep husband and wife together..when my hubby was transfered to some other place I made very big mala and offered to Rama as my MIL said..:)

Ms Sharma said...

Yes Lakshmiji, I also love Kankambaram very much..Thanks for sharing your miracle and your child hood memories with us..