If we visit Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, -the capital city of Cambodia-, we will see this tree on the way to exit. Since there are some Buddha statues under the tree, perhaps as normal tourist we will look at it closer and smell its fragrance. Then we will see the sign of the tree: Shorea Robusta roxb.
But, is it the real name of the tree?
I quote from Wikipedia:
In the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, a large flowering tree is erroneously named Shorea robusta, where this individual tree is actually an example of the cannonball tree, Couroupita guianensis. Likely due to the many tourists visiting this location, the erroneous name tag, and the fact that the flowers of the cannonball tree are quite showy and fragrant, most on-line picture searches will lead to the wrong plant species.
The real scientific name of the tree, Couroupita guianensis, was introduced from Guyana to Sri Lanka in 19th-century. For unknown reasons, the tree was mistakenly believed as Sal tree, Shorea robusta, and was planted in many temples in some countries.
We know that Sal tree has a close relation to the Buddhist. We can search further and find that according to Buddhist tradition, Maya Devi held onto the branch of a Sal tree while she was giving birth to Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. Also, the Buddha was lying between a pair of Sal trees when he died. Because of these reasons, the Sal tree is revered by many Buddhist people around the world.
But again, if it’s about belief, it is not easy to change…
We can only ask, “Is it your real name, tree…?” 🙂