Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nature in My Backyard- The Cannonball Tree

The Cannonball Tree (Couroupita Guinansis)

The Cannonball tree above is very large for a city. Called Naga Champa in Sanskrit, it is planted mostly in Shiva Temple courtyards. The flower has a pinkish white hue, very close to the lotus. The central petal curves like a hood above the base. Hence its association with the serpent.

The flower has a very mild fragrance. Its fruit is unusually large as seen in the photograph at the top. The fruit resembles a cannonball hence the name Cannonball Tree.

The tree is deciduous and suddenly one day, all the leaves would be missing. New leaves come up very fast. The flowering is around the trunk, and the flowers attracts insects flying at the middle levels. This tree is a cauliflory in which the flower and fruit appears in the trunk of the tree.

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