Trees in Reva – Walking through the shades of green as the sun rises is wholly a vibe itself. Like many spaces of Bangalore, Reva too is a place with varieties of plant species and a lot of Trumpet trees.
Trodding down between thousands of branches and leaves while the world is on its verge of waking up is a quiet euphoria.
There are days when I wake up early to play my guitar under these trees. And other days to just walk among them. Back when my classes were offline, the trees were an escape from the treacherous chores.
Now there are no chores. No routine. No holidays, weekdays, or party nights. There are just days and nights. Staying back on the campus while everyone returned to their homes gifted me something that I hadn’t had in a while – time and a hushed world.
Though monotonous at times, I’ve never had such blissful walks inside before. With much time in my hands, the trees feel closer to me now. In fact, I made a video just meant for these greens! Go check it out:
Be it the tree species, their names, their leaves and trunks, the rare ones, where they originate from – all of it has been implanted in my mind.
Trees in Reva – a Silent Delineation
To the people who’ve been around Reva University, it’s known that every layout of every structure has been planned to detail. That’s one reason why I wouldn’t call the trees in Reva a forest.
Every tree has been designated its spot. It’s a paradise to me, but it’s more a planned paradise. Even the tiniest plants, shrubs, and different types of grass lawns are in place. And they’ve perfected to match its surrounding.
The Weeping Figs stick by the Food Court and Pink Trumpet Flowers by the path crossing the Library building. Naming the trees, I’ll start with the ones that one sees while entering from Reva’s main entrance.
Plants by Block 1
The first college building is the CV Raman Block with more vast lawns than plant spots. This section covers most bottle brush trees, Agave, Jackfruits, and great lengths, and Morning Bowers.
The greens being placed towards the campus entrance, they’ve been placed meticulously. There are more plants here than trees. Most plants are labeled along with their common and biological names.
While most trees instill a sense of peace in me, this plant fills me with curiosity every time. The Agave from the family of Asparagaceae grows mostly in dry and semi-arid regions.
This particular plant is huge and noticeable when you walk in. Walking close to it, you’ll realize its leaves are gigantic and sharp. Though the Agave is a succulent (a plant having thick leaves or stem to store water), it isn’t a cactus. Agave has leaves and stores water in them, cacti don’t.
There are a few Agave plants on the campus. However, I found only two.
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Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Dragon trees, the Dracaena marginata in particular, are commonly used as an indoor plant as a decoration for their striking appearance. While they take a long time to grow, they’re easy to maintain and grow in warm conditions.
Originating from Madagascar, the Dragon plant grows to anywhere from 15ft to 20ft. Its funny name comes from ancient times of Hercules’ adventures.
Bottle Brush Tree
The bottlebrush (Callistemon Lanceolatum) is that tree most don’t observe right away. But when you do, it’s quite a sight! Many of the bottle brush trees on the campus are tilted like in the picture below with some that are upright up to 15-20ft tall.
It’s called bottlebrush as its flowers resemble long-cylindrical traditional bottlebrushes. These flowers come in bright red, white, yellow, and green. However, in the pictures I took, there are no blooming flowers.
Here’s one of the upright bottlebrush trees:
Ornamental Bamboo Shrubs
Phyllostachys, known as Bamboo grass, are found in many parts of Asia, and most species are found in Central and Southern China. Apart from being used for ornamental purposes, Bamboo produces 35% more oxygen than usual trees.
Also, with its lean and sturdy stems, it’s a great substitute for the use of wood. In contrast to its use, Bamboo isn’t considered as a tree, they’re plants. And it’s one of the world’s fastest-growing plants. However, bamboo is difficult to maintain and should be considered only for long time commitments.
The bamboos below in Reva are placed at the entrance once you enter. Yep, it’s been misspelled below – its biological name is Phyllostachys* Viridis.
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Common Ivy plant
I’m not certain of this next species as I wasn’t able to find a label. But to my best knowledge, it’s the common money plant, Devil’s Ivy.
The path towards CV Raman Block is decorated with half a dozen of these pillars along with these plants on either side. Speaking of its name, the minute details of its leaves and growth can change it slightly. Be it the Common Ivy or Devil’s Ivy, let’s stick to Ivy or a simple pothos.
These are common in India and many parts of Asia. This is easier to take care of, compared to the bamboos and is considered a great indoor plant. Though invasive, it isn’t to maintain like bamboos.
With moderate watering, warm temperature, and occasional grooming, it’s a great plant for casual gardening.
Areca Palm Trees
Areca catechu, also called areca palm, is a type of palm tree that’s great for indoor planting. Some other names for it are betel nut palm, areca nut palm, and catechu.
The area nut here, with its stem lean, is garlanded beautifully with smaller shrubs and grass around it. What seems like a normal palm tree actually has great medicinal uses.
The betel nut palm is used as a drug for increased stamina, intense alertness, and senses of euphoria. Being powerful by nature, it’s actually banned in some countries as it’s equally harmful when taken in excess.
It can potentially cause death when taken over a limit.
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The Royal Palm trees are lined up from the gates to the entrance circle. We’re all familiar with these palm trees – used as ornamental for large spaces and streets, these genuinely are ‘Royal‘ as they loom over at you as you pass through the place.
It’s the enormous trunk and heights from 20-30 feet that make them stand majestically. While there are a number of shrubs that welcome you, it’s always these palms that”d take away most of the attention at first.
Without the wide-angle mode and being an amateur photographer, it was tough to capture the whole of these trees. I could only get the most of them! Feel free to submit any pictures of these trees in Reva if you’ve got any that you’d like to publish here.
This plant stands alone on the lawn and I’ve to say – it does look sad. But its location says a lot as it’s placed right behind the Agave (Observe the first picture of Agave).
Like the Agave, Aloe Yucca (Yucca aloifolia) needs more arid climates and less water. Once or twice a week of watering should help maintain this plant. Now getting to the good part, the Aloe Yucca has great medicinal benefits:
Originating from Southern parts of America, it has a wide range of purposes from helping with diabetes treatment and migraine headaches to treating skin disorders. It can be applied to the skin for treatment or consumed after cooking. However, with Yucca plants being edible, they’re sometimes eaten raw!
Old French Cyperus
This is my favorite one among all the trees. The lines on its trunk and its ancient appearance of branches and leaves make it a photogenic plant. This Old French Cyperus – Cupressus/Cypress Macrocarpa – got its name “Cypress” from the Old french – cipres.
The etymology further digs deep into Latin, then Greek. Down the path from the first block, this tree is the only one of its kind here!
Common tree species found here
Common trees in Reva: All the plants mentioned till now are rare in Reva and found in only certain spots of the campus. The Agave, Aloe Yucca, and Orchids are found nearby the entrance and nowhere else.
The other shrubs and trees found here constitute most of the greenery in Reva and are also available in other parts of Bangalore. Some of my favorite ones are the Weeping Figs, Red Frangipani, and Pink Trumpet trees.
Let’s start with the small shrubs first.
Glory Bowers – Clerodendron inerme – are shrubs found in many places. It’s commonly used for decorating the sides of roads and pavements as hedges in India. They’re massively planted and cut trimmed well into a leveled height.
While most people overlook the trees over these shrubs, these make a large proportion of the greenery shots. Their leaves of multiple shades of blazing, and mellow greens make it a wonderful addition to the gardens.
Jack trees, or more known for their fruit, Jackfruit, is another common tree found in Reva. Most are found on the roadsides heading to the hostel. And yes, they bear great fruits!
As the fruits get more ripe, the higher chances it has to be plucked away either by students here or staff authorities. Some kids keep their eyes on their favorite jackfruit for months so that they can pluck it one day.
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The round shrubs aligning the Saugandhika lawns on its roadside, the plants in-between the Royal palms at the entrance, and the plants arranged on the circle – they’re of the Ficus plant – Ficus Panda.
The Ficus plants are used here for ornamenting the sides of pavements and roads. Naturally, the ficus plants have a wide range of sizes. Indoor ones can grow up to 10 ft while others grow up to 60 ft!
Some Ficus hedges in Reva are short and lean while tall ones are stand by the longer path ranges.
Singapore Graveyard Flowers
The Singapore Graveyard Flower, Plumeria obtusa, is another common plant found in many spots on the campus. It’s similar to the Red and white Frangipani plants and stands among the same lines.
You’ll notice its leaves and white flowers are similar. However, this is more stout with its greens and seems to have broader and darker shades of green leaves.
Another way to tell it apart is frangipani sometimes stands without leaves (See the picture in the next section). The Singapore Graveyard flower doesn’t – it’s always thick with leaves.
Other Trees in Reva
The Magnolia Champaka is common in many parts of Asia and is known for its evergreen nature. It’s also popular for its soothing fragrance. You’ll find a lot of these on the campus.
Only a few of the champak trees are named here. But you can find them easily by observing these shelled seeds as in the picture below. Apart from the Champak, the other common trees residing around it are the Indian Almonds, BlackBoard trees, Coconut, and Silver Oaks.
Trees in Reva – Conclusion
I’d to go through various sources for some biological names and meanings of plant species for this post. Well, this is what I’ve been stuck with all this time, these trees in Reva.
I still have yet to add species to this list of trees in Reva. Everyone talks of Reva’s lush greens, but never gave them a voice. Every plant here is beautiful on its own when looked at closely.
The conviction behind writing about these trees in Reva
Living alone amidst this forest on my University’s campus, it’s a world no one will ever experience once the pandemic lifts. I’ve spent 4 months here sipping in the quiet bliss. A bliss that was never meant to be.
Imagine a green campus meant to be seen with thousands of students every day turning into a hushed world for months. A place that was never meant to be.
The only company most of the time here is of stray dogs and cats, squirrels, birds and insects, and these trees. Not long ago, fireflies could be seen around. One was right by my room’s window at night!
For now, that should be it. Have a great day :)
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