Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J for "(Night-flowering) Jasmine"

Common Name: Night-flowering Jasmine, Coral Jasmine
Scientific Name: Nyctanthes arbor-tristis
Assamese Name: Sewali

Sewali is a night-flowering tree with white flowers with orange stems. It is of two varieties, one flowers all the year round (perennial) and the other flowers only in the months of September-October (seasonal). The tree is also known as the "the tree of sorrow", because the flowers lose their brightness during daytime; the scientific name arbor-tristis also means "sad tree". The flower is the state flower of West Bengal, the eastern Indian state.

Clicked several years ago at home
As the tree blooms during the night, by morning it sheds most of the flowers. We would find the ground below the tree strewn with the delicate flowers and we would collect them in small baskets. I remember making garlands out of them. In Assam, the flowers as well as the tender leaves are delicacies. The flowers are bitter in taste and are fried to be consumed. They are also dried and stored to be consumed later. The tender leaves are cooked as fritters. These fritters are one of my favourite Assamese delicacies. 
Had these yummy fritters during my recent home visit

I am taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge [April 2016].


  1. I've heard of jasmine, but never seen the flowers before. They are quite beautiful. And those fitters look delicious!

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

  2. These flowers are one of favourite. your post brings back the nostalgic moments of childhood days of these flowers... nice post

  3. Although these trees grow in the Caribbean where I grew up, I never knew the flowers and leaves were edible!


Loved that you dropped by. It would lovely to know how you feel about this post too :)