The pandemic hasn't been able to dampen the early winter blooms across India. After Shillong's cherry blossom flowers took over the town and turned it into a pink and white haze, now a village in Kerala's Kozhikode has turned pink due to the extensive growth of an aquatic plant, the forked Fanwort blooms.
Avala Pandi, a village in Kerala's Kozhikode has generated a lot of interest among locals as images of the aquatic plant spread across the village has sparked a lot of attention. The photos of the invasive plant have also been doing rounds on social media, which in turn have attracted a lot of tourists who have been thronging to the village to take in the sights.
The pink flower plant belongs to the family of Cabomba furcata and is known locally as ‘mullan payal’.
The flowers have also become a source of income for several local vendors, who have been cashing in on the pink flower bloom to earn some money during the time of economic slowdown. The place has also become a favourite go-to zone for several party candidates who are fighting for votes for the upcoming state body polls and have been using the village and its pink flower phenomena as a backdrop to garner votes.
A botanist Dr P Dileep reportedly told ieMalayalam of Indian Express that the plants, which are mainly seen in the village of Avala Pandi might be beautiful to look at, but are a threat to local water bodies.
Dr Dileep said that the plants may have been from aquarium escapes. Elaborating on the unprecedented growth of the flowers this time, he also said that lesser number of people in the water bodies might have contributed to the increased growth of the plant.
However, a few people who saw the images of the flowers on social media also commented that the growth isn't favourable to water bodies it spreads in.
This plant not so good for the eco system it seems...— midhun sb (@midhunsb) November 24, 2020
It's used in aquariums too.... Its and invasive species— chomtu🐯 (@NLCA33) November 24, 2020
The village of Avala Pandi reportedly saw this aquatic plant growth some time last year as well but its growth wasn't this extensive and hence the word did not spread far and wide, unlike this year when it has become viral.