Muktha Balaga

Nagalinga Pushpa

Posted on: ಮಾರ್ಚ್ 23, 2007

Veena posted a picture of Nagalinga Pushpa on her blog. And I started explaining to the people who said they dont know the flower at all.. but it became a long lecture. So, had to post it here!!

Its known as Canon Ball in English.

Botanical details :
Its scientific name is Lagerstroemia reginae and it belongs to the family LYTHRACEAE.
Features those attribute to the name Nagalinga Pushpa.
Its name is derived from Naga + Linga.

Nagalinga pushpa

As you can see from the picture above, it has a beautifully decorated hood kind of structure that houses innumerable filaments with anthers on it. It looks like the hood of “Naga” the snake.
And the  inner part of it contains the lone female part, stigma, sitting inside, as if protected by this hood of Naga.

The Stigma is small in size and it looks similar to a Shiva Linga, with a small pedestal(Ovary of Stigma) and a small linga(Stylum+Stigma combined).

All in all, its an awesome flower that matches with our imaginary Shiva Linga with a Naga’s hood encripting it.
Smell of it…amazing!!

One small trivia : It blossoms all over the tree, tree grows huge over the years. And this flower blossoms with sweet scent during the evening, in the twilight to be specific. But this stays open until Sun scrotches onn next afternoon.
Summer is the time for NagaLinga Pushpa.

Medicinal values it holds :
In Ayurveda, Nagakesara(sanskrit) is used extensively as an anti-inflammatory medicine.The volatile oils from the flowers show anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.It is one of the ingredients in the many preparations which cure gastritis, scabies, bleeding piles,dysentry,scorpion poison and many.
(Googleshwara helped me find this).

Bangaloreans can have a feel of it from the following places :
1. Shankara Mutt in Shankarapuram, Chamarajapet
2. Laal Baagh, near the West gate entrance
3. A few trees in front of National college Basavanagudi.
4. Bugle Rock(in front of Mallikarjuna temple)

(Remember, an early morning walk or late evening walk only will help you find them).

Brahma Kamala                                     Star of Bethlehem

Brahma Kamala                                             Star of Bethlehem

Please add more details to this scribble.

A video I took(of this divine flower) yesterday is uploaded here.

Another bright picture of Brahma Kamala(Craddle of Jesus) :

Brahma Kamala @Photograph: Prashanth M.



18 Responses to "Nagalinga Pushpa"

Thanks Srik for the wonderful post.
Double thanks for taking the burden out of my shoulder.
I was also thinking to search some information from googleshwara & paste it in my blog. Many a times, thoughts are faster but the fingers would do the actual wonders of putting a post on this which is more permanent alva ?

Great info Srik… so it isn’t the Star of Bethlehem after all. I suppose that’s the Brahma Kamalam.
Thanks to you too Veena, for starting all this off!

Anand and Veena, Thanks.

Actually Anand, Start of Bethlehem is a different flower from our Brahmakamala.

If u can relate to the picture of Ananthashayana, Brahmakamala u will understand the name.

Brahma is born from the NABHI of Anantha Shayana Vishnu. As if to depict this scenario, Brahmakamala has a Stigma with long Style with multiple stylum surrounding it. It looks like Adishesha with a portion in the middle seeming like Vishnu and the important part being procured from the nabhi of this flower, just like Brahma in the picture 🙂

More info about it later.

Star of Bethlehem is similar to this one, even the creeper looks same, but the actual flower is without all the descriptions stated above. Its a flower with fewer petals, very attractive colour.

And one more trivia about Brahmakamala : It flowers only once in an year, I mean a leaf will give one flower in an year, during SHRAVANA maasa, after Sun set of cource 🙂

Will upload the pictures of both here…watch for the same 🙂

Wow Srik, what a lot of information!

Must catch up on those flowers sometime. I have a Brahmakamala creeper at home. The christian neighbors who gave us this plant called it “Jesus Cradle”.

Great work Srik!
Apart from manufacturing accidents you are also a botanical expert. I can imagine 60 years down the line when BRU will write Srik andre evere nodi…

;; nagalinga pushpa yes its smell is amazing. we had a tree in our school and it was great to see that flower detailed explantion given by you is opt.
good one this write up took me to high school days where we used to collect the flowers which were fallen on the ground. ours was a boys school
no problem for us to collect easily as very few takers.

wow! very informative!! keep them coming 🙂

Thanks all!!

Mohan, I will be writing about all of you people even before that, I know. 🙂

Srik, thanks for the info, but I beg to differ on this one! The photo you have posted on the left IS the Star of Bethlehem, also called the Brahmakamalam by Hindus!

The Christians refer to the flower the way they do, for the same reasons you’ve mentioned ‘Stigma with long Style with multiple stylum surrounding it’. It appears as if baby Jesus is in a crib with the Star of Bethlehem hovering above! Ultimately, it all boils down to what one is looking for, I think!

Thanks to Shakespeare, a Star of Bethlehem or Brahmakamalam will smell just as sweet, won’t it???

There was an incident once (I think I have that Asian Age paper cutting somewhere) wherein a vegetable when cut in half displayed a perfect seed formation of the word “Allah” very, very clearly! Compare this with the fruits and vegetables we assume appears like Lord Ganesha etc!

PS: Mukthabalaga is officially blogrolled:)


Thanks for the info and honours for MB.

But as far as I see, Craddle of Jesus is a different flower from Star of Bethlehem. You can browse thru the link I have posted alongside the picture of Star of Bethlehem.

I have a Brahmakamala sibling which breads flowers that look different from this picture of Star of Bethlehem. And according to a book I referred, both are plants in the same family.

And wrt seeing Gods in vegetables and plants…
Yes, as any religion speaks, God is omnipresent. He is existant in blogs too 😉

“As any religion speaks, God is omnipresent. He is existent in blogs too”
Too good!!!!!

Your display of Brahmakamala and its video are very nice. I often wonder how to reach the beautiful fragrance it oozes to the nature lovers.
I was also attracted that people in your blog talk
god and culture and thought that it may be appropriate to send attach one of my articles , food for thought. Pl read and send Ur comments.
Thanking you

The article is uploaded here

saw ‘nagalinga pushpa’ tree in mysore zoo. remembered this post. thanks veena (for the pic) and kaanthu (for the details).

Beautiful, Very informative and Interesting. Interestingly I grew up studying in (School, highschool,College) , I always palyed in Bugle ROck park,Now I stay close to West gate of Lalbagh

And I get to smell this flower quite often. Another place you can see this in plenty is close Malleswaram ground.

suddenly My 10 years spending outside India seems to be such a waste.

Hi friends I will recite you one of my experience ,with this trees medicinal value, I visited my in-laws house in ongole (Andhra Pradesh). I was suffering with thought infection and cold. Magically when I reached there house I saw this tree with beautiful flowers and after spending near the premises of the tree my thought infection severity got reduced and within 2 days I was totally cured of the infection without even using any tablets. I am a software eng from Hyderabad. I was searching the web from that day to know more about this tree and at last I could know more details about it. In telugu its called shiva lingam puvu and I first saw this tree in my childhood in Tirumala near the old wood lands hotel (neither three nor the hotel exist now)

Hey Prashanth has one bright Brahma kamala picture on his blog, have a look at it and add it to the links pls.

Please confirm the scientific name of Naga Linga Pushpa.

Many sources give a different name:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis) is an evergreen tree allied to the Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa), native of tropical northern South America, tropical America and the southern Caribbean.

Lagerstroemia reginae is known as Tamhan in Marathi.Refer: Flowers of Sahyadri by Shrikant Ingalhalikar

Yenidhoo…some junk characters are being shown….is a virus attack or somebody playing a mischief ? mostly yaaro tharaley maadtha idhaarey antha kanosthey…

ಟಿಪ್ಪಣಿಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.


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