Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Canonnball Tree Flowers

In addition to the brown fruits resembling brown cannonballs, this tree also bears large, brilliantly-colored flowers. Also growing from stalks extending two to six feet (.6 - 1.8 m) from the trunk, these nectarless flowers are revered by the Hindus who liken the petals to the hood of the Naga - a snake who protects Shiva lingams. It is for this reason that Cannonball trees are grown around Shiva temples. In Sri Lanka, the tree is often planted near Buddhist temples, as it resembles (but is not) the tree species that Buddha passed away and the Buddha Vessabhu received enlightenment.

Other parts of the cannonball tree have been used in their native tropical places for medicinal purposes. The young leaves can ease toothaches, and the juice of the leaves can cure certain skin diseases. The tree is also used to cure colds and stomachaches.


Bibi said...

With 'fruit' like the cannonball tree bears, it's good that Buddha did not meditate under that tree. He would have found his Awakening much sooner, perhaps, or maybe have even reached Nirvana. Bonk.

Ann Flowers said...

That is just an incredible combination of textures and elements. So softly feminine, and intricate. Beautiful!