Not Evaluated


Cobra Saffron

Mesua ferrea

A handsome Indian evergreen tree often planted as an ornamental for its fragrant white flowers that yield a perfume; source of very heavy hardwood used for railroad ties. In old time, the very hard timber was used for making lances. It is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree up to 13 m tall, often buttressed at the base with a trunk up to 90 cm in diameter. It has simple, narrow, oblong, dark green leaves 7-15 cm long, with a whitish underside; the emerging young leaves are red to yellowish pink and drooping. The flowers are 4-7.5 cm diameter, with four white petals and a centre of numerous yellow stamens. The flowers have many uses - they are used to make an incense and also used to stuff pillows in some countries. It is the National tree of Sri Lanka.

Nag Kesar, Ceylon Ironwood, Indian Rose Chestnut

Regional Names
  • Hindi:
    नाग चम्पा, नागकेसर, नर्मिश्क (Urdu)
  • Tamil:
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Mesua ferrea

Quick Facts
  • It is a state flower of Tripura as well as the national tree of Sri Lanka.