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Crossandra / Firecracker Flower (आबोली)



गोमू माहेरला जाते हो नाखवा
तिच्या घोवाला कोकण दाखवा

दावा कोकणची निळी निळी खाडी
दोन्ही तीराला हिरवी हरवी झाडी
भगवा "अबोली" फुलांचा ताटवा

In Sindhudurga, my native district, Aaboli is the favourite flowers of ladies to put in their hair. Even the above Maalvani famous song reietrates importance of flower to praise the beauty of Konkan Region, specially south Konkan. Planted in backyard of almost every house, it competes strongly with jasmine to adorn the hair-do's. Available in many colors one is Aaboli, yellow and brick orange.
The crossandra is in the family with Mexican petunias, or ruellias, and the Mississippi Medallion award-winning yellow shrimp plant. This tropical from India and Sri Lanka offers a welcome orange, salmon or yellow to the filtered-light area. In addition to the flowers that are practically non-stop for the entire season, the foliage also offers added interest. The leaves are glossy and most striking. Choose a site with well-drained, fertile soil with perhaps a little morning sun. If you have tight, heavy clay soil, the crossandra will reward you for incorporating 3 to 4 inches of organic matter. As the plant grows, keep it deadheaded and pinched back; it will maintain a bushy shape and keep blooming with each new flush of growth.

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