Goa’s ‘Plant Utsav’ is back!

‘Plant Utsav’, the annual plant show which has been delighting plant enthusiasts for three decades, will be back in Panjim next week
From pots to plants, a variety of items connected with plants and gardening can be found at ‘Plant Utsav’
From pots to plants, a variety of items connected with plants and gardening can be found at ‘Plant Utsav’Gomantak Times

 Plants in pots offer great flexibility in designing a display, as a specimen plant or massed together, to make a spectacular visual impact. Not everyone has access to such gardens and, hence, the Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) holds regular plant festivals.

Inspired by a BSG ‘Plant Show’ held in February, 1992, noted Goan cartoonist, Alexyz, and the multi-media, multi-faceted journalist, Joel D’Souza (since deceased), started the ‘Festival of Plants & Flowers’ at SFX School, Siolim, Goa, on August 15, 1992. Since then, it has become Goa’s most consistent plant show with a record of thirty unbroken years. The school’s efforts received recognition from the then Governor of Goa, Dr Mridula Sinha, for completing twenty-five editions without a break.

The BSG has held its ‘Plant Utsav’ annually since 1998, with a hiccup here and there, the last being due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

The Medicinal Plants display at Plant Utsav 2019
The Medicinal Plants display at Plant Utsav 2019Gomantak Times

IN THE BEGINNING

A popular hymn has a message for us, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going; and soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.” Interestingly, the title of the hymn is Pass it on. The spark was lit in January 1980, at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), when its Director, Dr SZ Qasim, hosted the first plant show. It spawned the Plant Lovers’ Association, in Panjim, with Maia de Figueiredo, Maria Fernanda Souza, Maria Beatriz Costa, Mangala Prabhudesai and others; as also the Botanical Society at Dhempe College, Miramar, with Prof SM Shetty and staff members of the then combined Biology department.

In 1990, the BSG was registered and the Plant Lovers’ Association transferred Rs 35,000, then a princely sum, to the BSG and merged its membership. Together, they lobbied for a Botany department at Goa University and it was set up the same year. The plant shows had given them a presence in the minds of the people.

The organising committee of Plant Utsav 2019
The organising committee of Plant Utsav 2019 Gomantak Times

ABOUT PLANT UTSAV 2022

As in the past, Plant Utsav 2022 (being held from November 18 - 20 will feature potted plants brought by the competitors on November 17, 2022. The categories are:

  • flowering (roses, anthurium, dahlia, chrysanthemums, torrenium, impatiens, etc)

  • foliage ornamentals (monstera, philodendron, croton, acalypha, etc)

  • palms

  • cycads including zamia

  • ferns

  • cacti & succulents

  • potted vegetables are a category, too

  • An addition this year is fruit plants like chickoo, jackfruit, mango, avocado, custard apple, guava, limes, oranges, cherries, etc in pots. They must have fruits on the date of judging.

One of the entries of the petals 'rangoli' contest of Plant Utsav 2019
One of the entries of the petals 'rangoli' contest of Plant Utsav 2019 Gomantak Times
One of the entries in the flower arrangement contest
One of the entries in the flower arrangement contestGomantak Times
  • Cut flowers like roses, anthurium, dahlia, gladioli, gerbera are invited as entries as a single cut flower in a 200 ml, or 300 ml, transparent soda or other glass bottle.

  • Honeybees are pollinators of most plants. A competition for fresh flower honey has been introduced. The entry size is 50 ml or 50 g of honey in a 100 ml capacity glass jar or bottle. The prizes are ₹ 1500, ₹ 1000 and ₹ 500 for the three best entries in honey. Entries will be accepted only on Friday morning (November 18, 2022) 10 am to 12.30 pm.

On-the-spot competitions on Saturday afternoon (November 19, 2022) include the popular petals rangoli, fresh flower arrangements (western designs, moribana or free style) and fruit & vegetable carving. Afternoon time, from 3.00 pm to 5 pm, is a good time to watch the competitors in action.

There will be stalls selling plants and garden inputs. The show closes on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 6 pm. Visit it to avoid regrets later!

The author is the former Chairman of the GCCI Agriculture Committee, CEO of Planter's Choice Pvt Ltd, Additional Director of OFAI and Garden Superintendent of Goa University, and has edited 18 books for Goa & Konkan

From pots to plants, a variety of items connected with plants and gardening can be found at ‘Plant Utsav’
Think rice is strictly for main courses? These 12 flavourful Goan dishes will change your mind!

Your Gateway to Goa, India

The Gomantak Times app is the best way to stay informed on anything happening in Goa. From breaking news to the top 10 restaurants to visit, GT helps you navigate your time in Goa.

Download the Gomantak Times app on your Android or IOS device.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Goa News in English on Gomantak Times
www.gomantaktimes.com