The Search For Flame Of The Forest Tree In Jaipur | Palash Flowers

I received a box of organic colors on the occasion of Holi. Holi is an Indian festival where people apply color on each other. The box contained a dried flower. The tree is also popular as Flame of the Forest tree elsewhere in Asia. Tesu is also known as Palaash in Hindi. Going by the scientific name of Butea Monosperma, it is commonly called Flame of Forest. Gifting of colors is a  common practice on occasion of Holi. Often, the color packet is accompanied by a bottle of Thandai or a box of locally made Indian sweets. This is how the organic color box looked like.

Tesu Ke Phool. Organic and safe way to play Holi

This is how you can prepare organic color for Holi from dried Tesu flowers- the easy way!

How to prepare organic colors for Holi with Tesu flowers. Instruction on the box.

The box reminded me of a story I had read during my school years about how a protagonist prepares organic colors from Tesu flowers for Holi. It kind of made me curious. Is it possible to find Tesu tree in Jaipur?

A Tesu flower bloom on Palash tree

And the flower does full justice to its name. The bright orange color flower is an absolute beauty. It stands out among its surroundings. Even though this tree is quite common in Central India namely Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhatisgarh, it extends all the way to the state of West Bengal in the east. Some say that instead of offering sacrifice to Goddess Kali (popular deity in Bengal), one can offer Palaash flower in its place!! The tree holds great religious and cultural significance to the region & states where it is commonly found. It is a state flower of Jharkhand. The tree flowers from January to March. The time coincides with the festival of  Holi, which is usually celebrated in the month of March.


Coming back, finding Tesu flowers in Jaipur seems like a remote possibility since the topography of Jaipur differs vastly from Central India, where it is commonly found. But I still wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any; at least in popular parts of the city. There are lots of Ashoka, Holopetlia Ingrifolia, Gulmohar, Neem trees but no Tesu or Palash tree in Jaipur!!

A few weeks had passed by. During one of the hiking excursion near Jaipur, I came across a   bright orange flower bloom on a  tree. Looked like I had located the tree I was looking for! Wow!

That’s a Tesu flower……Flame of Forest tree!

Here is another tree in the vicinity. Much older and bigger!


In full bloom. Flame of Forest tree.

Time for close up of Tesu flower cluster.

A Tesu flower cluster.

Tesu or Palash flower is found in clusters. Shaped like a parrot beak, it is devoid of fragrance or smell. Here’s another close up of a single flower!

Tesu flower, shaped like a beak of a parrot.

The Flame of Forest tree truly proved its name -I found one in the forest!!

Even though the tree was technically not in Jaipur but now I know where to source the Tesu flowers to prepare organic color for next Holi!! Bravo!

Search for Tesu flower ends!

In case, you haven’t run through my photo story on the Holi festival, check it out here.

Check out other blog posts in the same category, Click Here.

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Tesu Ke Phool tree Flame of the forest jaipurthrumylens #Palaashflower #Palaashtree #Tesu


51 thoughts on “The Search For Flame Of The Forest Tree In Jaipur | Palash Flowers

  1. Fascinating post! I love learning about other cultures, and I’m so glad you found the Flame of Forest. It’s quite beautiful. I will read about Holi now. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that you liked it Judith…An appreciation from an artist like you surely means something!… I hope it can provide you some inspiration! Just out of curiosity, how did you land up on this blog? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found your blog recently…can’t remember what led me there. I’ve been seeing your posts in my “Reader”, and when I saw the Tesu tree this morning, I had to comment. I think I probably found the blog by using the “Recommendations” that come up from WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shubham! you can experience it in person. Will trek together sometime when you’re back from your first home – Himalayas!! 😉


  2. Could you believe this? I have always been fascinated by Tesu flowers. ‘Kesudo’ is how it is known as in Gujarat. My mother recalls one holi celebration particularly every year. and it had a bucket full of Tesu coloured water. May be that is the reasons why I am fascinated by it. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures and carefully written piece.


    1. Mana…Even though rose occupies top slot when it comes to flowers, but I feel the sheer beauty of a blooming Tesu pales all! Kesudo? The word sounds quite like “Maarwaari” which is spoken in some pockets of Rajasthan. I’m happy that you liked it. I wrote it because I’m fascinated with the flower, like you. will make a post on another similar looking flower. It’s been pending for quite some time like this one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀 your post made me smile. Yes, many words of Gujarati have Rajasthani ancestry. And both the languagues trace their roots in Prakrit languages. Anyways…

        Coming back to our fascination with Tesu, I’d love to read about other flower too. Flowers are symbols of so many things. Beauty, sacrifice, life and what not! Rose is kind of a pompous! Its personality is egoistic. I love Mogra flower a lot. But Madhumalti and Raatrani are my favourites!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mana.. Lot of other similarities exists too.. Some other time!
        You’re right on flowers. If you dig mythology, you’ll find reference to all these flowers. probably, with so much western influence all these flowers have taken a backseat. 🙂


  3. Arv lovely pictures and to tell you the truth I haven’t heard of this flowers. Looks so beautiful. the colour is sure the flame of the forest. Good to know something new. Holi am not a great fan of the colours on you. Its after effect of taking it off is real difficult. Being in Chennai haven’t got much on hands in celebrating holi and have never heard of these flowers also. Good post. Am happy you finally found what you were searching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meena, I’m happy that you liked this post. I know Chennai is not at all into celebrating Holi. If you ever celebrate Holi, use organic colours. you face any issues in Washing it Off! Trust me Holi is fun. people have become very conscious and many people won’t play with chemical colours. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! those flowers are awesome and I must admit I didn’t know their name or the use as narrated by you. Thank you for such an informative post. I marvel at the beauties of nature…trees growing so well in the wilderness, without any care!
    Lovely images. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment and kind words. Yes nature is beautiful. I wish mankind realizes this and stop causing damage and tampering! Thanks once again! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Sudhit for appreciating the post. Yes, Tesu was very popular among the poets and story tellers, but I guess those were different times. I doubt if lots of people in my generation can recall Tesu tree or flower! 🙂


    1. I think I was just lucky to find it here since it’s not a topography where Tesu tree grows! Thanks for dropping by and comment! 🙂


      1. Tesu or Palash is a native tree of Jaipur. It is uncommon to see it in urban areas of Jaipur but you can see lots of Palash tree in the wild areas of Jaipur. I have counted 170 trees in just 15 minutes of my walk in a wild area of Jaipur. The flowers bloom in March and are a delight to watch. They can be found in the wild areas of Delhi as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I haven’t seen them much near Jaipur. Do let me know which areas one can find them in. Happy to know we can find so many near Jaipur.


    1. Quite a few of these were planted by forest department whereas rest of these came up on their own -evolution cycle. The trees you are referring to can be planted and these are hardy variants. Variety in trees is way forward! Thanks for checking it out and writing your views on the subject! 🙂


      1. Sandhya, I hardly use much of technical equipment. At times I just use simple point and shoot camera. I just follow basic photography principles that everyone can. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great post Arv! The feeling of getting something after a long search is priceless and when you talk of the beautiful, vibrant Palaash it is worth the search. I am always fascinated by these flowers. In the southern parts of West Bengal, these trees were plentiful previously but these days they are mostly found in the southwestern district of Purulia. As you said this is used for preparing organic colour for Holi it is also a must for Saraswati Puja in every Bengali household that is held on the day of Basant Panchami. It also has a significant role in Basanta Utsav in Shantiniketan held during Holi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for adding this information, Sarmistha. I was not aware of the cultural significance in Bengal. I don’t think it is found commonly in this region which is dominated by trees like Dhok, Neem, etc.
      It is one of the most beautiful trees around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly this is one of the most beautiful trees around. The vegetation of Jaipur and surrounding region is mostly semi arid to arid and talking of Neem, it is a resistant speciec and can thrive well in difficult soil and weather condition.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this. I recently did two posts on Tesu at my work with Pugdundee Safaris.

    Had some brilliant pictures. Yours as always are fabulous.

    Thanks for reviving Tesu memories

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to know that you have written about Tesu recently. Is it on your blog? Would love to read.

      Well, I use a compact zoom to click pictures. Make it easier to carry around.

      I’m glad you enjoyed these pictures, Natasha. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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