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November 19, 2012

Cannon Ball Flower Only For Lord Shiva

The name "Cannon Ball " comes from the fruits, big as cannon balls, hanging on special branches along the trunkThis large deciduous (sheds leaves annually ) tropical tree, 75" tall and an interesting asset to Amazon rainforest, is listed as a rare tree and flower in India. The leaves, up to 6" long, are simple with serrate margin; it flowers bloom in yellow, reddish and pink flowers with mesmerizing fragrant (This fragrance attracts snakes at the first place hence they don't prefer to plant them outsides mainly expect in the premises of Lord Shiva's Temple) . These are 3" to 5" waxy aromatic smelling, pink and dark-red flowers growing directly on the bark of the trunk. The tree bears, directly on the trunk and main branches, large sphere woody fruits; they look like big rusty cannonballs hanging in clusters, like balls on a string.

 Cannon ball trees usually carry 'CAUTION' signs posted on the trunks to advise people not to stand close to and directly under the fruits as one can get hurt as they drop off by themselves. The fruit contains small seeds in a white, unpleasant smelling white jelly, which are exposed when the upper half of the fruit goes off like a cover. The long dangling fruity branches give the tree an unkempt appearance. The hard shells are used to make containers and utensils. 

Cannon ball flowers are considered of special significance in Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka. In Andhra Pradesh  [a state in India] , it is called Nagamalli/ Nagalingam/Nagalinga  flower.

Cannon Ball  flowers are offered to worship one of the important deity of India, Shiva. The reason is there will be   a small bump at the center of the flower  resembling Lord Shiva's Lingam and the pollen hood shaped like a multi hooded snake over the linga . This rare flower can be used only for offering to Lord Shiva 

1 comment:

  1. I just spotted one of this rare and auspicious tree near my house in Bandra (Mumbai), India