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Old Aug 30, 2014, 4:00 AM   #1
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Default Cannonball - Couroupita guianensis

This is a very beautiful and fragrant flower. The tree is quite huge, and bears root-like stems on its trunk, from which the buds appear in bunches. Many of the buds fall off, and the remaining stay to develop and blossom into beautiful flowers.

I noticed this tree on the way to my work, and made it a point to stop by and shoot on a week-end. I read in the internet that some trees can even bear a thousand flowers in a day!

Glad to share a few shots I took of this tree and its flowers:























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Old Aug 30, 2014, 1:08 PM   #2
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Nice series and very interesting.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 6:25 PM   #3
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Great macros Raghu!, maybe #1 and 2, a little over exposed?
Very intresting tree.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 9:03 PM   #4
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thank you Jim and Mario! Mario - good observation! I deliberately kept them like that, in order to show the flowers on the trunk. Else, the green leaves show well, but the trunk becomes very dark.
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Old Aug 30, 2014, 10:50 PM   #5
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Nice series! The Mysore university campus has one such tree.It would be interesting to know the Botanical details.

Thank you for posting.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 1:42 AM   #6
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Thanks, wanaclick. Botanical info is available in Wikipedia - in fact, I picked up the botanical name from there.

In local custom, India being the land of many gods as it is, this flower has a significant place in prayer and worship. Here it is called 'Nagalingam' - Lingam, as everybody knows, denotes the shape and symbol of Lord Shiva, and Naga means serpent.

If you look at the close up, you can see the form of Lingam on a pedestal, a thousand serpents guarding it forming a hood over the Lingam. As such, this flower is sacred for the Saivites who worship Shiva, and also for Vaishnavites who use this for offering to Rama, who worshipped Shiva.

Leave the religious attributes apart, this is a very beautiful flower. A few flowers are sufficient to fill a large room with a mild and pleasant fragrance for the whole day. The flower is very delicate, and breaks at the slightest twist or drop.

As fragrant as the flower is, the fruit, when it is ripe and about to burst open, sends a foul smell like that of decaying flesh, forcing people to cover their nose! It is a signal for birds and scavenger animals to come and break open the fruit in order to eat the flesh and disperse the seeds.

The tree being huge, it requires a decent amount of space around to grow. Urbanisation takes every inch of available space and therefore this tree is becoming rare in crowded localities, and is mostly found only in villages, temples and wooded areas. I appreciate the owners of the house where I photographed this tree, for giving it the space it requires to survive. Note the next building built right up to the edge of their land area.

Sorry if I took too much time giving my views, and thanks for your patience.

Mario, another photo, which I did not post because of the autorickshaw intruding:

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Last edited by Raghu; Aug 31, 2014 at 3:38 AM.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 10:30 AM   #7
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HiRaghu , Very interesting story about your culture and botanical .
Thank you very much for sharing!
I Like the last one
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 10:32 AM   #8
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Thank you Raghu for going an extra mile with an excellent explaination,I have all the intentions of propagating the species with all the might I can muster.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 11:53 AM   #9
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Thanks Mario, I am glad you liked the other shot. Wanaclick, the thought that I have inspired you to plant this tree made my day. Thank you.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 4:40 PM   #10
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G'dat Raghu

I will join the others above with congrats re- the series
Yes, they are beautiful flowers & your macros showing the petal & stamen details are excellent

Phil
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