"Pie Bonis" Or "Bouke Banane"
The locals are fond of the Flamboyant trees. It is well-known as "Pie Bonis" (Bonus Tree) because it blossoms in the period when bonus is paid from employers. In addition, we call it "Bouke Banane" (Yearly Bouquet) as well. The flowering of the Flamboyant trees happens from November and ends at the beginning of January. That is why Mauritians name it the yearly bouquet.
Scientific Name: Delonix Regia
So, what is the origin of the Flamboyants? The scientific name of this beautiful and famous species is Delonix Regia. It was imported from Madagascar at the end of the 1830s to the Mascarene Islands, which among is Mauritius. The Flamboyants were planted firstly around Port-Louis, in Pamplemousses Garden, and at Lataniers. Then later, scattered around the island.
The Delonix Regia is endemic in Madagascar. The flowers usually contain 4 to 5 petals up to 7cm long. In Mauritius, the fern-like leaves are in 3 varieties of colors: red, orange, and yellow. The red is the mostly seen and widely present, while the others are rare. The colors vary depending on the species. The Flamboyants prefer a tropical climate to grow, precisely in an open environment and light soils. Moreover, the tree can grow up to 15m in height.
Where To Find Flamboyant Trees In Mauritius?
The Flamboyants are present everywhere, in many regions and people's yards. There is no preferred selective place for it. However, the most popular sites for photos are in the North and the West regions. A list of the top 10 places for the best Flamboyants in Mauritius are Cap Malheureux, Mont-Choisy, Médine, Labourdonnais, Le Goulet, Belle Mare, Bel Ombre, Terre Rouge, Daruty and Marie Reine de la Paix.
In the surrounding of Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice chapel at Cap Malheureux, you will find beautiful Flamboyants. It is also an amazing site for photoshoots. The village of Cap Malheureux itself is rich with Flamboyant trees on the borders of the roads and in private yards. Another place to find Flamboyants is Mont-Choisy. Along the main road from Trou aux Biches to Pointe aux Cannoniers, there are plenty of Flamboyant trees.
Furthermore, the track to the old Médine sugar mill is full of Flamboyants. It is the most recommended place in the West for it. There are two sites to take into consideration. The first is the road which leads to the Kovil and the other is near to the old sugar mill main entrance. The Domaine de Labourdonnais in the North, has few splendid Flamboyant trees, particularly near to the old sugar mill's chimney. It is precisely located in front of La Corbeille shop. Every year, the Flamboyants bring a breathtaking view of the area. You will find Flamboyant trees at Le Goulet, a lesser-known and small village, on the road from Le Goulet beach to Balaclava.
In the same line of thought, on the road to Belle Mare old sugar mill ruin, there are plenty of Flamboyant trees, making this place gorgeous. In the South, you can enjoy some nice Flamboyants near Le Château de Bel Ombre surroundings. At Terre Rouge, near the round-about and on the way where the police station is, there are beautiful Flamboyant trees. In the North again, the road to Daruty forest and its surroundings reserve some nice-looking Flamboyant trees. Finally, at Marie Reine de la Paix, Port-Louis, the Flamboyants always transform the site into an attractive landscape.
Few photos of Flamboyants can be seen in the following gallery below:
On the way to the Le Château.
Near the chimney.
Just behind the chapel.
On the main road.
To the way of the old sugar mill.
To the way of Balaclava.
A Tree Which Changes The Mood
It is no doubt true that Flamboyant trees bring immense changes in our life. Not only they are beautiful, glow and bring a positive vibe to localities but also change our mood when they blossom. Mauritians are happy to see such a tree as it is a sign of festive events too. The end-of-year bonus, Christmas, new year, all of these point in our mind while admiring a Flamboyant tree. Hopefully, we will continue to preserve this species as it forms part of our heritage.
biodiversitylibrary.org (Plate 2884).
Curtis's Botanical Magazine 1829.
A big thank you to Keshav Ramdhan for his precious help.
AUTHOR: Ali J (Administrator)
PUBLISHED DATE: December 2, 2021
LAST UPDATED: December 4, 2021
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