Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cannonball Flower (নাগলিঙ্গম ফুল) - Couroupita guianensis

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Bengali Name : Naglingom (নাগলিঙ্গম ফুল), Kaman Gola (কামান গোলা), etc.
Common Name : Cannonball Flower.
Botanical Name : Couroupita guianensis
Family : Lecythidaceae (Barringtonia family)

This flower was in my bucket list to observe it someday. I have had several chances in past to encounter the flower. But most of the cases missed it by a narrow margin. Finally got a chance to see this flower from the Dhaka Botanical Garden. But you know, this time my intention wasn't to observe flowers, rather it was a bird watching field trip.

It is Cannonball flower. In Bangladesh this is known as Naglingom Ful নাগলিঙ্গম ফুল). This is a huge tree plant that is native in Central and South American region. There are only few trees have found (countable in fingers) in Bangladesh. There is a Jomidar Bari named Shoshi Lodge available at Mymensingh. They have a Cannonball tree there and the fruits were used to feed the elephants. Anyway, botanical name of the plant is Couroupita guianensis. It belongs to the plant family Lecythidaceae. It was first discovered by the French explorer and botanist J.F. Aublet in 1775.

Naglingom (নাগলিঙ্গম) is a very tall growing (around 75 feet) deciduous plant (i am not sure, can be evergreen as well!). Leafs are in cluster and vary in size (around 6 inches length). From my observation, this grows around a single trunk and grows upwards. Flowers use to come as a cluster on the erect stalk of the stem.

Cannonball plant brings flower on the tree profusely. Flowers are large, having six petals, pink/red in color and having white/yellow at the base. Size of the flower can be six cm wide. During the blooming season the tree uses to get covered with thousands of flowers, they are highly scented, especially during the night and morning. Flower is having snake like filaments (or pollens) thing, and it is probably one of the reasons to call this as Naglingom (নাগলিঙ্গম) in Bengali, which means the Phallus of Snake.

Fruits are round and having the shape of a cannon ball. It has a hard shell outside. This is probably the reason to call this plant as cannonball plant. In Bengali it has another name Kaman Gola (কামান গোলা), means cannonball. Since the plant brings lot of flowers, obviously it will bring lot of fruits on it. And the cannonball size fruits use to lose from the plant easily. That's why it is advised not to stand directly under the tree.

Initially the photos of this article were taken from the Botanical Garden, Dhaka. It was the early morning during October 2014. I was there to observe the bird, but this flower was a bonus for me! Later on I have captured few more photos from the Romna park (রমনা পার্ক) during March 2015.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

ফুলের জন্য ভালবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

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