Cannonballs on trees

On the bustling island of Penang, which has long been a centre of trade, lies a lush green area known as the Penang Botanical Gardens. The park in George Town dates back to the colonial era.

What is unknown to many is the existence of about 10 cannonball trees in the garden's grounds that were planted when it was first opened by the then British colonial government in 1886.

These cannonball trees that were brought in from Brazil are now 135 years old.

Also known as Couroupita Guianensis, the extraordinary cannonball trees are known to emit a pleasant, fragrant aroma that attracts insects, as part of its pollination process, and has traces of pink colouration on its bark and branches.

These trees, which can grow to a height of 20m, produce globular fruits that are the size of cannonballs or the size of an average adult human head.

According to several references, the fruits take about nine months to mature.

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