Blooming Forked Fanwort flowers have turned a river in Kerala pink, which has therefore resulted in a sudden spike in the number of tourist footfall. By Tanvi Jain
Kerala: Forked Fanwort blooms in Kozhikode; people visit to see flowers of the aquatic plant.
— ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2020
A river in Kozhikode’s Avala Pandi near Perambra, Kerala, has turned pink, thanks to the millions of blooming Forked Fanwort flowers from the Cambobaceae family, locally called mullan payal; and native to South America.
As a result, both tourists as well as local vendors have flocked to the place, to witness the beauty and make some money out of it, respectively. In fact, many political party candidates also started using the opportunity to garner votes for the upcoming state body elections.
However, experts have warned of a hidden threat behind this beautiful sight. “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 P Dileep, Botanist, told Indian Express, adding, “The plants may have been from aquarium escapes.”
@madversity In an Unbelievable sight, a river in Kozhikode’s Avala Pandi near Perambra turned pink with millions of Forked Fanwort flowers, an aquatic plant. is known locally as ‘mullan payal’. #PinkRiver pic.twitter.com/upckRtZmUQ
— DrMadhuTeckchandani (@msteckchandani) November 25, 2020
“The plant belongs to the family of Cambobaceae and has thorny leaves. Although these invasive plants appear attractive, they pose a serious threat to water bodies. Like African algae, these plants multiply fast in a geometric progression. If anyone is collecting these plants from Avala, they must make sure to grow it only inside an aquarium. If it slips into water bodies or paddy fields, there could be large-scale destruction,” he further said.
These plants start to bloom from 11 in the morning and appear to be more dazzling with sunlight but begin to wither as the sunlight fades in the evening. Dr Dileep also informed that another reason for this phenomenon is the ongoing pandemic, due to which lesser number of people have stepped into the narrow canals.
In an Unbelievable sight, a river in Kozhikode’s Avala Pandi near Perambra turned pink with millions of Forked Fanwort flowers, an aquatic plant. The pink flower plant belongs to the family of Cabomba furcata and is known locally as ‘mullan payal’. @incredibleindia #PinkRiver pic.twitter.com/HZOYbtywdU
— Amit Singh (@editorneindia) November 24, 2020
A similar phenomenon was witnessed in Avala Pandi last year as well, but due to limited growth the view wasn’t as appealing as it is now.
“In earlier years, the plants used to flow away with the flow of water. Now, with no movement in the water the plants have grown widely. Towards the end of December, when fields are readied for cultivation, and the canals are opened, it will flow out into the river,” Indian Express quoted the former president of the Perambra block panchayat, M Kunjahammed as saying.