he colorful picture resembling feathers, whips or worms is not the Snake flower Nagapushpa, it is in fact a Sea Pen, a type of Coral. Sea Pens are diverse and delicate underwater animals, and as their name suggests, they can look like old style writing pens. They have hard, internal skeletons, and few of them can even glow in the dark, which is how some colorful Sea Pens decorate the Ocean floor (see pictures in Image Gallery). According to the curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences, Gary Williams, most sea pens grow to between 5 centimeters to 2 meters in height, and what's interesting about them is, a single sea pen like all corals can be looked at as a colony or they can be an individual with many mouths.
Nagapushpa is the Sanskrit word for Mesua ferrea tree (Nagakesara in Telugu language), which is also called as Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnut, or Cobra's saffron. Mesua ferrea (Nagapushpa tree) is a slow-growing tree named after the heaviness and hardness of its timber, and is cultivated for decorative purpose because of its graceful shape, young leaves and large, fragrant white flowers (see pictures in Image Gallery). The Nagapushpa tree (Mesua ferrea) can be found in the eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats of India, where it grows up to altitudes of 1500 meters. It is also native to wet, tropical parts of Sri Lanka, Thailand, southern Nepal, Burma, Indochina, the Philippines, Malaysia and Sumatra, where it grows in evergreen forests, especially in river valleys.