Narilatha: Flower blooming in the shape of a Naked Lady---Fake or Fact?

, posted in Miscellaneous

By Saif Malik

Yesterday while wandering on Google, I came across an image depicting a naked woman dummy or doll hanging with a tree. I thought it might be from Xochimilco (The floating gardens in Mexico) as people hang the dolls with trees there to fulfill some rituals. But its hanging with tree exactly like a flower or fruit made me more curious. After probing it further, I’m shocked to know that it is actually an image of a flower which has bloomed in the shape of a naked lady on a tree in India. And they have named this flower as “Narilatha Flower.”

Honestly speaking, I was shaken to see all this in the first place and had started to praise God for this miraculous creation. But, probing it further today has lead me to another shock that Google and Wikipedia are totally unaware about this unbelievable wonder till this time like me. No scientific/botanical/ geographical or any other kind of well-referred data is available on Google about this flower and its bearing tree. Is it fake or photo-shopped then? This is what I’m really thinking now. I’m really confused. Before making any solid impression about this amazing creation fake or natural, I want to share its basic info with you guys to take your feedback about its originality. May be some/any of you know about it and may share some useful info about its authenticity.

Basic info about this flower found on few interconnected blogs is like this. Narilatha flower plants are said to grow in India (in the Himalayan region), Sri Lanka and Thailand. They bloom with interval of 20 years. So this long interval for blooming has made these flowers very rare.

It is called the Narilatha flower in Hindi which means flower in the shape of a lady. While in Sri Lanka and Thailand, it is called as “Liyathabara Mala” and "Nareepol" respectively.
Regarding its origin, it has been assumed that ‘Narilatha’ belongs to the orchid family ‘Orchidaceae’ and comes under the Genus of Habenaria. As all other Habenaria species are terrestial orchids with tubers and most of them have been found in Sri Lanka.

So guys what you think about this God or human created wonderful lady. Please give your precious feedback below so that issue regarding originality/authenticity of this rare flower may be resolved.

About author: Saif Malik is a Landscape horticulturist, well equipped with lot of professional exposure and experience. Along with landscaping/gardening work, he's founder, publisher & editor-in-chief of
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Copyright Hortist, 2013

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Hortist is a sustainable source for landscape horticulture news, solutions and resources, managed by a Landscape horticulturist from Pakistan. Hortist reports on importance of this very unique niche and how it improves the landscape of this world and lives of its inhabitants.