We have an Ashoka tree growing near to my home, and these pictures were taken during last April when it flowered. The flowering season is from March to May.
According to the Hindu epic ( ‘ithihasa‘) Ramayana, Sita Devi had sit under an Ashoka tree while at Lanka and till the end of Rama – Ravana war, Sita Devi remained there itself under the tree. The place was called ‘Ashokavani’, ‘vani’ means garden. It is mentioned in ‘Sundarakandam‘ of ‘Ezhuthachan Ramayanam‘, the version popular in Kerala. There the tree is called as ‘Shimshipa‘ its another name. I myself had read it.
That is why Ashoka tree is considered to be sacred. It is also believed that the tree bowed its branches to show its respect towards Sita Devi. That may be the reason behind the slightly bent shape of its branches. Now this place is believed to be in modern day Sri Lanka.
The flowers are beautiful with red and orange colors, they bloom in clusters and each flower has four petals.
The seeds are wrapped inside a coating and visually it is very similar to White Ginger Lily seeds.
The scientific name is Saraca asoca, unfortunately these trees are very few in numbers and are considered as an endangered species. But I am happy that I have one in my vicinity. So something has to be done to save this precious tree.