The truth about rare Nagapushpa flower that blooms once in 36 yrs

A photo purportedly showing a rare blooming “Nagapushpa flower” that blooms once in 36 years is doing the rounds of social media.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  15 Sep 2022 12:09 PM GMT
The truth about rare Nagapushpa flower that blooms once in 36 yrs

Hyderabad: A photo purportedly showing a rare blooming "Nagapushpa flower" that blooms once in 36 years is doing the rounds of social media.

The photo shows a colorful, feathery creature. People are claiming that it is Nagapushpa (or Naga Pushpa), the rare snake flower found in the Himalayas. Some claim that the rare flower grows in the Himalayas only once in 36 years. (Click here and here to view the posts).


The oddly strange snake-like appearance is the reason why they call it Naga Pushpa but the question here is, "Is there any such plant in the Himalayas?"

Fact Check

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found the original photograph on Pinterest uploaded in 2013. It was under the category "Strange Flowers" and was captioned "Sea feather by Gordon B Bowbrick."

We then ran a keyword search and found an article that identified the photo as that of a sea pen. According to the article, "Sea pens are all colonial, marine species. They have earned the name because many species, but certainly, not all, look like an antique quill pen. There are multiple polyps on each colony, and each polyp has eight arms, as one should expect from a member of the subclass Octocorallia. In contrast to other octocorals, the polyps of sea pens specialize to perform specific tasks, like feeding or reproduction. All colonies have a central stem."

According to Live Science, "As their name suggests, sea pens can look like writing pens, or they can resemble feathers, whips or worms. But these diverse and delicate underwater animals, which are a type of coral, are also hard to pin down: A single sea pen is both an individual and a colony."

It quoted Gary Williams, curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences, as saying, "All corals can be looked at in two ways; they can be looked at as a colony or they can be an individual with many mouths."

Further, we did not find information about any flower called Nagapushpa or Nagapushpam or Naga Pushpa or Naga Pushpam (Nagakesara in Telugu) that blooms only once every 36 years. The word Nagapuspa is a Sanskrit term for the Mesua ferrea tree also known as the Ceylon ironwood, Bodhi tree, Indian rose chestnut, or Cobra's saffron, which is an evergreen tree.

It is evident that the viral image is not of a flower called Naga Pushpa that blooms once every 36 years. It's a photo of a sea pen, a type of coral. Hence, the claim is false.

Claim Review:Photo Nagapushpa flower grows in the Himalayas only once in 36 years.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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