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Rudraksha Trees

Hindu scriptures trace the origin of Rudraksha trees to the tears shed by Lord Shiva. But for a botanist, Rudraksha tree belongs to the ‘Elaeocarpus’ family (scientific name).

The tree is found mainly in Nepal, India and Indonesia. The tree is also seen in the Solomon Islands, Marianas Islands, Guam, Rota, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. The best Rudraksha beads are those from Nepal and there are Rudraksha farms here. The tree is also cultivated in the Indonesian island of Bali.

The Rudraksha Tree is also known as the Blue Marble Tree and there are around 120 species in the family of Elaeocarpus. An evergreen, Rudraksha tree bears fruit within five years. The white wood of the tree is in high demand as timber.

The tree has white flowers and produce fruits that has three stages of development. In the first stage, the fruits are green and then they turn purple and finally, when the fruit is ripe it is blue in color. The fruit when cleaned gives the Rudraksha bead.

The fruit is a favorite of flying foxes and it is they who help in the dispersal of seeds in forests. The pulp and the seed of Rudraksha fruit have medicinal properties.