The Spellbinding ways of nature are thrown up in an Enchanting manner along the banks of the southern most River of Kerala at the southern tip of India.
As the mystical and historical River Neyyar winds its way from the Mountains to the Arabian Sea it creates a fascinating World of Backwaters, Mangrove Forests and water channels bustling with Magical Flora and Fauna.
A King from the Medieval Ages observed the River was covered with Flowers and named the Village “Poovar” ( River of Flowers) , a name which the village town carries to date.
The pictures that follow were taken from a Wooden Boat at the Estuary of the River Neyyar at Poovar. The tree in the foreground is I presume the same species that bore the flowers the King of Travancore (that was what the Kingdom was called) saw 600 years ago.
The River Neyyar is steeped in Ancient Hindu Mythological Stories and maybe the River of Ghee and Water which gave birth to the Avatar of Lord Vishnu, “Matsya”.
These lovely Red Fruits are suspended on delicate little tendrils which surf the tranquil waters of River Neyyar.
If you check the previous blogs titled TRANQUILITY and TRANQUIL MERGER you will appreciate the Habitat of these mysterious Conical fruits.
” Nearly two weeks after posting the blog “RIVER OF FLOWERS”, I am delighted to have discovered the identity of these Beautiful Decorative Fruits.”
The small delicate White flowers of the Conical Red Fruits appear to be Pink on first glance. The gorgeous and bountiful flowers are borne by wiry aerial stems which submerge their heads in the calm cool waters of the River.
“As they sway in the breeze much like an Enchantress these Flowers and Fruits are bearers of a Deadly Poison. Beware Looks are Deceptive.
Native to India the Fish Poison Tree ( English), Samudrachampa ( Malayalam) , Barringtonia macrophylla ( Scientific name) is a Freshwater Mangrove.”
A zoom in and unintended magnification reveals the numerous Pink Stamens which overwhelm the delicate white petals of the Flowers and Buds.
” These lovely blossoms hang on thin tendrils called Racemes and sway over the freshwaters of the River Neyyar.
The native name “Samudra Champa” is so descriptive and close to the title of this post and means Fragrant Flower of the Seas.
The Freshwater Mangrove belongs to the Brazil Nut Family “Lecthydaceae”. “
The Samudra Champa on account of the Poisonous substances (opioid painkillers) it carries also has medicinal benefits and is anti microbial and anti fungal as well.”
As I end the blog I wonder if these were the flowers which Enchanted the Mighty King ?
I have a task at hand too, what are they called ? I have failed to discover thus far.
” The discovery was quite by chance as I was searching for another name for quite another Plant.
It is not easy to hone onto the species and you can see other Trees which look very similar to the one posted above. those interested could check out Barringtonia racemosa and Barringtonia acutangula as well to appreciate the point being made .”
Am elated and I reblog the post to share the name of the Mysterious Flowers of the Freshwater Mangrove seen in the backwaters of Kerala.”
All that is added in the blog is highlighted and put in inverted commas.