Cannon Ball Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

Kailaspati, Lecyhidaceae, Couroupita

This beautiful tree with glorious fragrant flowers growing out of its main trunk goes by the unlikely common name “Cannon Ball Tree”. This is due to its large round fruit resembling cannon balls.  Its botanical name is Couroupita guianensis and the species has been introduced in India. The tree belongs to the Lecythidaceae family. 

The flowers are uniquely shaped almost like a Shivalinga. Hence the tree also goes by the common name Kailaspati. When plucked, the highly fragrant pretty flower stays fresh in a bowl of water for a day. 




In sharp contrast, the fruit is filled with a foul smelling substance. If you look closely, some fruit are visible and seem to be strung on the trunk. If one of them falls on someone’s head, it can cause an injury! 

Kailaspati is native to the Amazon rainforest but seems to be happy in India considering its gregarious flowering and fruiting! It grows to be quite tall and is an imposing sight!


I am joining Parul‘s #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world!

10 Replies to “Cannon Ball Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)”

  1. What a beautiful tree! I never knew about this tree and the flowers are so pretty! Wonder why it has such foul smelling fruits though! (Quite strange!) Nature is so amazing, isn't it?

  2. A new tree to me, the cannonball. Beautiful flower, but a fruit you wouldn't want? We have a street tree like that in the United States where they will only plant males so the tree doesn't fruit – but the tree has the ability to turn female and if it does, watch out in the fall!

  3. @Esha Yes, the flower and fruit are contradictory!! Nature is amazing and strange too… another contradiction?? 😉

  4. @Alana Planting only male trees may be a solution but I guess Nature is smarter.. the tree turns to female.. surprises never cease 😉 Thank you!!

  5. Hi, came in from Ramblin and never heard of Cannon Ball tree…I have to say it beautiful.
    If you have time stop in for a cup of coffee

  6. What a lovely tree and I have never seen one such. Interesting that from Amazon rain forests, it can be found in Maharashtra. Thanks for joining!

  7. Never seen this tree, so interesting to read your tree post, I have always seen, and learnt something new every time I visit this page. Thanks for sharing, the images are lovely:)

  8. @Parul – this is a fairly common tree in Pune especially in parks. So happy to be part of ThursdayTreeLove! Thanks!!

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