Majestic Heaven Lotus
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Majestic Heaven Lotus
ntroduced Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Majestic Heaven Lotus, Janiparindiba, Gustavia
Botanical name: Gustavia augusta    Family: Lecythidaceae (Brazilnut family)
Synonyms: Japarandiba augusta

Native to South America, Majestic Heaven Lotus is a medium-sized tree with a straight trunk that is often unbranched, with just one cluster of leaves at the top of the trunk (like a palm). It is closely related to the Heaven Lotus. The species name augusta means majestic, which an appropriate adjective for this tree. In big trees, there are a few large branches, each with a cluster of leaves at the end. Leaves are very large. They are toothed, long, narrow at the base, and broad at the apex. The tree can grow really tall, but may bloom after attaining 5 m height. These flowers are big, fragrant, with 4 sepals and petals, pink or white. There is a crown of long, sterile, pink stamens. The fertile stamens are the yellow, short stamens in the middle. Fruit is ellipsoid or spherical, depressed, green to brown. Pulp is yellow orange, 2-20 seeds/fruit. In its native location, the pulp is eaten roasted or boiled, mixed with rice. The tree is used as wood for construction. The leaves in decoction are used to cure intoxication by poisoned arrows.

Identification credit: Aarti Khale
Photographed in Maharashtra.
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