Hidden secrets behind the Ritual of offering leaves to Lord Ganesh

A ritual of offering 21 Patri (leaves) to Lord Ganesh during Ganesh puja. This is a time of the year in India when there is greenery everywhere. Most of the plants used in Ganesh ‘patris’ are common names, and some of them are rare. The tradition and occassion in the name of festivals or rituals in our country is having scientific reason. Following are the scientific and local plant names of 21 leaves that are offered to Lord Ganesha! 1. Terminalia arjuna (Arjun/ अर्जुन) A beautiful, indigenous, medicinal tree with simple, opposite, elliptic leaves. arjuna herb 2. Sesbania grandiflora (Agati/ हातगा) A small, fast growing leguminous, native tree with compound leaves. hummingbird tree 3. Achyranthes Aspera (Prickly Chaff Flower/ आघाडा) An erect weedy herbaceous plant with simple medium sized leaves. Achyranthes Aspera 4. Nerium Indicum (Oleander/ कण्हेर) An evergreen flowering shrub with dense foliage; commonly planted in gardens. nerium indicum 5. Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewda/ केवडा) A wild flowering perennial plant with long, strap like, leathery and aromatic leaves. Kewda Flower 6. Jasminum auriculatum (Juhi/ जाई) It is a stunning, small climbing bushy plant with simple, ovate, dark green small leaves. Jasmine flower Plant 7. Punica granatum (Pomegranate/ डाळिंब) A small perennial bush with multiple stems and many small sized, ovate leaves. punica granatum 8. Solanum indicum (Indian nightshade/ रानवांगं) It is prickly, erect shrub with large, hairy leaves. Highly medicinal plant. Solanum Indicum 9. Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass/ दूर्वा) The most popular grass species in India, it is known to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite plant. Read more about Growing Doob Grass. Cynodon Dactylon 10. Cedrus deodara (Deodar/ देवदार) The large, coniferous tree found in the Himalayas. Leaves are blue-green and needle like. deodar cedar tree 11. Ocimum sanctum (Holy basil/ तुळस) The most popular medicinal and holy plant in India. Leaves are hairy and aromatic. Read more about How to Grow Tulsi plant, and Why do we Worship Tulsi. Ocimum sanctum 12. Datura innoxia (Datura/ धोतरा) A traditional medicinal plant. Hairy, grey leaves with silverish appearance. Datura innoxia 13. Ficus religiosa (Holy Ficus/ पिंपळ) A huge tree found all over India. Leaves are Heart shaped with tapering apex. Ficus religiosa 14. Aegle marmelos (Bel, बेल) Another evergreen medicinal tree. Typical aromatic, compound leaves with three leaflets. Aegle marmelos 15. Ziziphus mauritiana (Ber, बोर) This thorny, scanty tree a common sight in India. Dark green, shining leaves. jujube fruit 16. Origanum majorana (Marjoram, मारवा) A bushy perennial herb. Leaves are highly scented known for their essential oils. Marjoram 17. Eclipta erecta (False Daisy, माका) A medicinal, erect annual herb is found naturally growing during Indian monsoon. bhringraj 18. Jasminum sambac (मोगरा) Extremely popular fragrant flowering plant common in Indian home gardens. Jasminum sambac 19. Evolvulus alsinoides (विष्णुकांत) This is a very slender, spreading or ascending, usually extremely hairy herb. Evolvulus alsinoides or morning glory plant 20. Calotropis procera (Rubber bush, रुई) A peculiar milkweed shrub with leathery opposite leaves filled with milky latex. Calotropis procera 21. Prosopis spicigera (Khejri tree, शमी) A moderate sized thorny tree with bluish green compound leaves.

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