Posted by: Ramesha JS | September 15, 2008

Nagalinga Flower the Cannon Ball Tree Flower

The flower of the Cannon ball tree (Couroupita guianensis), the nagalinga flower  are used to worship Lord Shiva in our country, India.  The nagalinga flower, some say, resembles a `Shiva Linga’ with a naga (snake) on top and hence the name.

 I shoot this flower in Bangalore Sri Ganapathi Sachidananda Ashram-Girinagar.

=>English Name : Cannon Ball Flower (Couroupita guianensis)
=> Sanskrit Name in Ayurveda ‘Nagakesara’
=> Official state flower of Puduchery(PONDY) state

This large deciduous tropical tree, 75′ tall and indigenous to the 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 in racemes which is cauliflorus; the yellow, reddish and pink flowers are stunning fragrant. 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 globose 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 Tamil Nadu, it is called Nagalingam flower. The sivalingam shape is visible at the center of the flower and snake shaped pollen is the specialty of this flower and it has very good fragrance. 
(c) Ramesha JS 


  1. Mr, Ramesh,
    this flower which you have put as a picture is of Couroupita guainensis and not aegle marmelos….

    Manisha Goenka

  2. It was certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

    Brandy Swingfield
    cell phone jammer

  3. Hi,

    This flower can be found near a tree opposite Kottumalai Temple in Pudu, KL.

  4. Where can you find nagalinga tree in Malaysia??? The exact location any one please.

  5. @ SENGSENG : hi sengseng, im frm malaysia as well…im looking for this flowers…can i knw wers ur hometown in malaysia…it would be great to hear from u…pls drop me an email at

  6. Thanks Sengseng for your comments.

  7. TO WHO MAY IT CONCERN,I’m a citizen in hometown has a this type of tree flower.this flower is very very amazing!!!but sadly not all the people know this tree at my hometown.and then nobody are take care this tree at my place.i hope one day who is the forest lover or national geographic manager will suddenly read this message & calling me for take care this “GOD GIFTS” at my place!

  8. so preety

  9. The images takes are fabulous

  10. all glories to parabhraman whose manifestation in every living and non living prompts a human to reasearch and contribute


  11. Dear Ramesh,

    I would be happy if you send me your email address to me. My id is Do you use Orkut?

    I wrote about Temples and also Railways.

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