This week’s Travel Photo of the Week is the flower of the cannonball tree in Singapore. This highly perfumed flower if pollinated will become a large round fruit and it takes little imagination to figure out why it’s called a cannonball tree. The large fruit when ripe falls to the ground emitting a small explosion sound and an unpleasant odor (though still no match for the vilely disgusting stench of a durian). The fruit is not consumed by humans, but the tree itself possesses antibiotic, anti fungal, and antiseptic qualities. South American Shamans utilize the tree to cure colds, stomach aches and malaria. The leaves can cure skin diseases and the insides of the fruit is used to disinfect wounds.
Cannonball trees are found naturally in the Amazon basin, India and parts of Southeast Asia. The tree is commonly planted in Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva. The Tamil (a language commonly spoke in India) name is Nagalingam, Naga, the cobra serpent is prominent in Hindu creation mythology and is often depicted shading Shiva with it’s hood, the resemblance to a cobra’s hood can be seen in the petals. Lingam or linga often depicted as a phallic symbol is a representation of Shiva the primary god of the Hindu religion and can be visualized in the center of the flower. The tree is often found in Buddhist temples as well. Buddha is frequently depicted with a Naga serpent shading him as he meditates. Additionally the cannonball tree is often confused with the tree that Buddha died under, the Sala tree.
Other Travel Photos of the Week about Singapore;