Common Kerala Flowers

Here are a few flowers commonly seen in Kerala. Many of them play a role in religious rituals. You find them everywhere, in the hedges and gardens in every corner of Kerala.

Golden Shower, locally known as Kanikkonna (Cassia Fistula) is a very important flower for every Keralite. These golden yellow flowers are an integral part of the Vishu celebrations. You are supposed to see these flowers before your eyes see anything else on the Vishu day. Golden Shower is the state flower of Kerala.

Jungle Geranium, Flame of the Woods, and Jungle Flame (Ixora coccinea)- These are the names of the flower commonly known as Thetty or Chethy in Kerala.

These flowers are commonly used for garlands for Goddess Durga. In Southern Karnataka, these flowers are used in ‘Bhuta’ worship.

You find them in every garden in Kerala :

Thetti poovu, Jungle Geranium, Flame of the Woods, and Jungle Flame (Ixora coccinea)

Here are snaps of a some very commonly found flowers of Kerala :


Thumpa poovu (Leucas aspera, the small white flower that you see below, has a big place in the heart of every Keralite. Onam, the national festival of Kerala is celebrated by everyone in the state and floral arrangements are an integral part of the celebrations. Thumpa has the pride of place in the floral arrangements for Onam. Every small child born and brought up in this state would have plucked these little flowers to decorate his or her home for Onam.


Golden Trumpet (Allamanda cathartica)is known as Manja Kolambi in Kerala. Literally translated it would mean Yellow Spitoon.

You see golden trumpets everywhere in Kerala. These beautiful flowers grow well in the humid Kerala weather.

Manja Kolambi, Golden Trumpet (Allamanda cathartica)

Pala poovu

Mulla poovu - Jasmine flowers

Various kinds of shoe flowers (Hibiscus ) are common in Kerala. Some of them may be seen below. The red hibiscus plant is traditionally used for hair care. People soak the leaves and flowers in water and grind it to a thick paste, to use it as a natural shampoo. Traditional medicines use various parts of these plants to treat fever and cough.

shoe flower or chemparathy

Chemparathy of another color

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