Thodupuzha: Looks like the neelakurinji flower which was expected to bloom in July this year, ending a 12-year long wait, would only begin to flower by August. The forest department assumes that the thousands of visitors who throng the Munnar hills to enjoy this spectacle which happens only once in 12 years would have to wait further long.
Munnar wildlife warden R Lakshmi said that the heavy rains that have been lashing the state are responsible for the delay in the blooming of the neelakurinji (Strobilanthus kunthiana). She added that the flowering would further delay if the rains continue.
The extremely beautiful neelakurinji flowers bloom in abundance when it receives good sunlight after the heavy rains, and it looks more attractive in light drizzle. Heavy rains, on the other hand, would even adversely affect the health of the neelakurinji shrubs. It may result in the rapid decay of the shrubs and the blooms will change colour to white.
The neelakurinji flowering season is expected to last till mid-November this year. It was in the first week of August 2006 that Munnar got adorned with the beautiful blue floral carpet of the neelakurinji, last time.
S Sandip, assistant wild life warden of the Iravikulam National Park, said that it is at Rajamala where the visitors can enjoy the mesmerising beauty of the neelakurinji blooms in its fullest glory.