|These were taken at Sanjeevaiah Park, Hyderabad on 5/4/09|
Some extracts from Wikipedia link (for pictures/ more details, pl. click on the link): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon-ball_tree
It grows to 30-35m tall, with leaves in whorls on the ends of the shoots. The flowers, which are borne only on special stems on the main trunk, are orange, scarlet or pink forming racemes up to 3 m long. They mature into large spherical woody fruit 15-24 cm diameter, containing numerous (200-300) seeds. The pulp of the fruits oxidizes bluish, and has an unpleasant smell.
Like coconut palms, the trees should not be planted near paths or near traffic filled areas, as the heavy nut is known to fall without notice.
The trees are grown extensively in Shiva temples in India. It is called the 'nagalingam' tree in Tamil. The flowers are called 'Shivalinga flowers', 'Nagalinga Pushpa' in Kannada, 'Nagamalli flowers' or 'Mallikarjuna flowers' in Telugu. It is considered a sacred tree among Hindus because the flower resembles a nagam or a sacred snake on the central large shiva lingam and numerous shivalingams around.
Refer to Couroupita guianensis for more scientific information (including specimen data, distribution map, specimen images, field photos, etc.) about this species.
It looks like the hood of “Naga” the snake, and the inner part of it contains the lone female part, stigma, sitting inside, as if protected by this hood of Naga.
The Stigma is small in size and it looks similar to a Shiva Linga, with a small pedestal(Ovary of Stigma) and a small linga(Stylum+Stigma combined).
Claimed medicinal values: In Ayurveda, Nagakesara(sanskrit) is used extensively as an anti-inflammatory medicine. The volatile oils from the flowers are claimed to possess anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
These were taken at Sanjeevaiah Park, Hyderabad on 5/4/09
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