Flame of the forest (Butea monosperma) in full bloom in Dhaka, Bangladesh Photo
Butea monosperma is a species of Butea native to tropical and sub-tropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, ranging across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and western Indonesia. Common names include flame-of-the-forest and bastard teak. In West Bengal, it is associated with spring, especially through the poems and songs of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who likened its bright orange flame-like flower to fire. Many folk literary expressions describe Palash as the forest fire. The beauties of dry deciduous forests of Jharkhand reach their height when most trees have fallen their leaves and Palash is in its full bloom. Palash is also the State Flower of Jharkhand. It is said that the tree is a form of Agni, God of Fire.