The night-flowering jasmine #ThursdayTreeLove

This picture, taken at a resort near Mahabalipuram, brings back memories of the lovely morning , our breakfast time and the photo session that followed it 🙂 The place was full of greenery all around, but this one with its lovely flowers had called out to me.

Featuring the night-flowering jasmine, commonly known as paarijat / paarijata / paarijatam in various Indian languages. There are a number of other names too, depending on the region this tree is found in.

Not to be confused with the night-blooming jasmine commonly known as Raat Ki Rani.

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Botanically named Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, it a species of Nyctanthes, and is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The distinctive characteristic of this tree is the fragrant flower, a small white petalled one with an orange-red centre. They are produced in clusters of two to seven together, with individual flowers opening at dusk and falling off at dawn.

Notice the fruit that seems to be perfectly heart-shaped in this pic of mine ? 🙂

The tree has religious significance and is also popular due to the symbolism attached to it. It is sometimes called the “tree of sorrow”, because the flowers lose their brightness during daytime. In fact, the scientific name arbor-tristis also means “sad tree”.

In certain cultures, it is associated with the cycle of life i.e. birth and dying. And, is popularly used as a garland for the dead.

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More Trivia (from the wiki page):

  • Paarijat is the official flower of the state of West Bengal.

Significance in Hinduism –

  • Parijat (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis), appears in several Hindu religious stories and is often related to the Kalpavriksha.
  • In one story, which appears in Bhagavata Purana, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana, parijat appeared as the result of the Samudra manthan (Churning of the Milky Ocean) and Lord Krishna battled with Indra to win parijat.
  • Further on, his wife Satyabhama demanded the tree be planted in the backyard of her palace. It so happened that in spite of having the tree in her backyard, the flowers used to fall in the adjacent backyard of the other queen Rukmini, who was favourite of Lord Krishna, because of her superior devotion and humility.

Uses –

  • The flowers can be used as a source of yellow dye for clothing.
  • Extracts of the seeds, flowers and leaves possess immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, antileishmanial, antiviral and antifungal activities in vitro. The leaves have been used in Ayurvedic medicine and Homoeopathy for sciatica, arthritis, fevers, and as a laxative.

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This is my entry for the #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop hosted by Parul , on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month. Do join in, and/or hop over for a feast of tree pics 🙂

 

 

15 thoughts on “The night-flowering jasmine #ThursdayTreeLove

Add yours

  1. I love the Parjat flower. We call it harshringar. It;s actually a family favourite. My sister planted a tree for one of her birthdays when she was really young and we were quite heartbroken when we shifted and had to leave it.
    I had no idea it is supposed to have come out during the samudra manthan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! Thats so nice OM.. you must have enjoyed all the blooms so much 🙂 I can so imagine the pain at having to leave it behind.
      As for the mythological connect , even I did not know before reading up for my post…

      Like

  2. The harsgingar is a delicate and highly fragrant beauty. I love them but unfortunately they bloom in the night and by morning they have fallen off the tree

    Sharing a snippet that I came across “……..According to Bhagavata Purana, Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana, parijat flowers were produced as a result of samundra manthan.

    ‘Paarinaha Samudrath jaatho va parijatah’
    Parijat, which was born out of the sea after much searching.

    The Gods were smitten by the beauty of these ethereal flowers and Krishna fought with Lord Indra to win over them. While the parijat has provoking fragrance and unparalleled beauty that Gods fought over to lay a claim on it, it is cursed to not bear any fruits and this is why it is also called the tree of sorrow……..”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Parijaatha is one of my fav flowers. I used to go to a neighbour’s house every morning to collect these flowers scattered on the ground, make it into a fine garland which my mom used to offer it to Lord Krishna. Later we had a little tree in our house itself. Smells heavenly! Your post brought back all the old memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I know this as Harshingar and the flowers were also used as ornaments by women. I love this tree and its blooms. My Grandmother used to tell me stories about how they used the flowers to dye their clothes. I loved the information you shared. I don’t know all the mythology tied to the tree and its flowers.
    So glad you joined and shared this one. Made my day!
    Hope to see you back tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah..its always nice to hear such first hand experiences. I didnt know a lot too… my source is the wiki page. Thanks Parul 🙂
      Reg tomorrow’s edition- in my excitement, I posted a post last Thursday. Is it ok to link that one itself? Or do we need a brand new one? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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