Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis)
Malaysia, Penang, Georgetown, April 2011
Amongst the flora in the Penang Botanic Gardens, one of the most conspicuous trees is the Cannon Ball Tree, so called because of its brown cannon-ball-like fruits. The trees are grown extensively in Shiva temples in India. Hindus revere it as a sacred tree because the petals of the flower resemble the hood of the Naga, a sacred snake, protecting a Shiva Lingam, the stigma.