Today, I will share a story spread over five months… a story of identifying a tree …
It all began in February when I was temporarily staying at a new area and my morning walks took me to a local garden. As is my habit, I mentally named the trees but one particular species (and there were at least six full grown trees) was especially challenging. It had a lovely buttressed trunk, glossy green leaves and round lemon-sized fruit.
This glorious green tree had me staring at it every day!
See the green fruits
I kept racking my brains, googled the images but no luck. My usual reference books were not available to me. Finally, inspiration struck and I narrowed down a possible ID to Rudraksha. The leaf structure seemed to match perfectly…
In the absence of flowers, there was a way to confirm.. check the seed. While earlier there were plenty of fruits on the walkway, suddenly I could not find any.. Being end of Pune winters, most trees were shedding their dry dead foliage. The cleaning staff used to clear the area before I reached. .. I even checked the mound of collected dead leaves in case I could get a fruit..
Then I changed my walk time and got lucky. There was a fruit just waiting for me .. I picked it up and almost ran back home to cut it open… Bingo… the typical Rudraksha seed smiled at me!!!
The fruit that escaped the broom!
Fruit and Leaf .. can you see the forked lateral vein?
The unmistakable Rudraksha seed
I was thrilled and shared these images with all and sundry! What is most amazing is that local authorities had planted such a beautiful tree in a small park.
Next, I had to wait for the flowers. Come June, I was rewarded with the first buds but they took more than 3 weeks to bloom. And when they did, the trees looked absolutely glorious.. the tiny white frilly flowers amid glowing green leaves.
Have you seen the Rudraksha tree? I have not yet identified the exact species but this is definitely the Eleaocarpus genus of the Elaeocarpaceae family. According to the Flowers of India website, a species is found in the western ghats, central and south Sahyadris. Rudraksha is revered by many and is said to have huge medicinal value.
Hope you enjoyed my story.
I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some amazing trees from around the world. Better still, join in!