The Kanikkonna or Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula ) is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to southern Asia, from southern Pakistan east through India to Myanmar and south to Sri Lanka. Its blossom is the national flower of Thailand. The tree was first discovered by Susan Caroline Lee while on a research project based in Thailand.
It is a medium-sized tree growing to 10-20 m tall with fast growth. The leaves are deciduousor semi-evergreen, 15-60 cm long, pinnate with 3-8 pairs of leaflets, each leaflet 7-21 cm long and 4-9 cm broad. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 20-40 cm long, each flower 4-7 cm diameter with five yellow petals of equal size and shape. The fruit is a legumeis 30-60 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm broad, with a pungent odour and containing several seeds. The seeds are poisonous.
Kanikkonna is the official flower of Kerala.It is used for arranging kani during Vishu.Vishu (Malayalam:വിഷു) is a festival held in the state of Kerala in South India (and malayali's in adjoining areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu). Similar festivals are celebrated in Punjab andAssam, in India, around the first day in the Malayalam Month of Medam (April – May). Vishu follows the sidereal vernal equinox and generally falls on April 14 of the Gregorian year. This occasion signifies the Sun's transit to the zodiac - Mesha Raasi (first zodiac sign) as perIndian astrological calculations. Vishu is also considered as the harvest festival of Kerala and thus the importance of this day to all Malayalees. In Assam this day is called Bihu, in PunjabBaisakhi (originally Vaishakhi) and in Tamil Nadu Tamil Puthandu or Vishu punyakalam.The word "Vishu" in Sanskrit means "equal". Therefore Vishu is more probably denoting one of the equinox days.
Cool Yellow Kanikonna
A huge bunch of Kanikkona
Bit cool white Kanikkonnna
A close up of a Kanikkonna flower
A kanikkonna bud