Tuesday, 29 January 2013

              The flower was named as Naga Lingam.The trees are grown extensively in Shiva temples in India. In Hindi it is called Shiv Kamal and also known as "Kailaspati". It is called the Nagalingam tree in Tamil. The flowers are called Shivalinga flowers in Hindi; Nagalinga Pushpa in Kannada; Nagamalli flowers or Mallikarjuna flowers in Telugu. Hindus revere it as a sacred tree because the petals of the flower resemble the hood of the Naga, a sacred snake, protecting a Shiva Lingam, the stigma.

               It has a large oval shape structure with short stamens at the base of the flower, these short stamens give the appearance of a cluster of “Lingams,” a symbol of Lord Shiva. A large snake head shaped structure covers the Lingams below as if it is protecting the Lingams. Both snake and Lingam are sacred symbols for Hindus; no wonder these flowers are sold at a premier price at Hindu temples as offering to God.
            Fruits are edible and are occasionally eaten, but the smell of the white flesh discourages most people from trying them. On the other hand, the flowers have a wonderful smell and can be used to scent perfumes and cosmetics. The hard shells of the fruit are sometimes used as containers.

                  The Cannonball Tree possesses antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic qualities. The trees are used to cure colds and stomach aches. Juice made from the leaves is used to cure skin diseases, and shamans of South America have even used tree parts for treating malaria. The inside of the fruit can disinfect wounds and young leaves ease toothache.

Botanical Name : Couroupita guianensis
                        The tree is deciduous and large, 50-80 feet in its native lands. It is said to have special significance in the Buddhist religion. Flowers (followed by fruit), grow directly from the trunk. Fruits are soft and very fleshyhe seeds are embedded in a six-segmented, fleshy pulp that oxidizes bluish-green and emits an unpleasant aroma when exposed to the air

 Hardly advisable to stand under this tree:

           These fabulous trees are well worth looking for, though it is hardly advisable to be standing below them during the time when the ripe fruits, which can weigh several kilos, come plummeting down to the earth below. Warning signs are often posted near cannonball trees, to keep people at a safe distance. The wonders of the natural world are endless and inspiring, and this wonderful tree is indeed a wonder.

Keep an eye out, if you are ever in the areas where they grow.