Whenever I hear the phrase “blue marble” I think of the famous photograph of the earth taken in 1972 from the Apollo 17 of the earth. Today I was introduced to a Blue Marble Tree! Sometimes I learn about something new and I am so excited I just can’t wait to share! This is one of those times!
The Blue Marble Tree is part of the Elaeocarpus genus and there are several species. The fruit is edible (but I was told by someone who has tried it that it tastes “like mud”) and is a brilliant blue. The seed inside, well you should just look at the photo!
I saw this tree on a tour today of a conservation area. The tour guide also told us that the seeds are used as prayer beads. Naturally I was curious (and picked up a few on our way through the area). This has led me on one of those crazy internet adventures old learning. E. ganitrus that grows in India, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, Guam and Hawaii, so it is likely that this is the species that I saw, but I do not know for sure.
The seeds from this variety are used to made rudraksha or rudraksh prayer beeds. Rudraksha is Sanskrit for Rudra (“Shiva”) and aksha (“eyes”). Then I started looking around for more information on the rudrasha. I found several videos of using copper plates to test if a rudrasha was real. If you are confused, don’t worry I was too. Turns out there is a belief that these seeds have a magnetic field and should spin on their own when held between two plates. But they are supposed to spin clockwise.
Usually the seeds are strung together to make a mala. This usually consists of 108 beads plus one, and is supposed to be a shield against negative energy.
I am not where near done digging into this but it was too interesting to not share! I hope you are as intrigued as I am! The tree itself has amazing roots that create huge buttresses. It towered above us. I am going to leave you with a botanical drawing of the leaves flowers and berries. What an interesting plant.