Confused? I found this word just while searching for the English name of swarna champa but I could get is the botanical name of swarna champa. Swarna champa in Malayalam we call it as swarna champakam, may be of its color resembles to gold. Swarna- swarnam mean gold in Indian languages. The flower is famous for its attractive fragrance.
In Kerala it is a rare flower, I have seen it once only ,that too a relative of mine, she belongs to Trichur worn this flower on her hair( south Indian ladies having the habit of wear on hair).Here in Orissa putting flower on hair is seen among the Telugu women but not in Oriya women.
The soothing smell of the swarna champa is so addictive that once smelt, they start to search for the flower for again. The reason why I have tried twice to plant a sapling at my home in Kerala by purchasing from nursery with unreasonable price but it dried up within few months.
But here in Orissa I surprised to see the swarna champa plants in front of most of the houses and people use its flower for puja ( puja or pooja I don’t know the exact spelling- whatever it is a worshiping method of Hindus). As per my observation swarna champa plant flower only after the tree become five to six years old and after growing ten to fifteen feet high. Rare trees are available flowering throughout the year. In front of my office there are two trees one is of about twenty five feet high and other about fifteen and second one flower in all the seasons. Every day I used to pluck one or two flowers and keep it in my room, there is no use of a synthetic room freshener spray, the natural swarna champa fragrance giving me an effect of aroma therapy. In summer it gets tough to pluck the flowers because of the height of the tree, so I used to purchase swarna champa incense sticks available in market.
Some people believe swarna champa is the flower of goddess of Lakshmi because she loves the flower. Lakshmi is considered as the goddess of wealth and believes that where the flowers kept there reside Lakshmi also. One folk tale I heard is that, once there was a minister's daughter she with her devotion in goddess changed a Champa tree in gold flowering. So it has got the name of swarna (gold) champa and still people here believes that the tree help to increase the wealth of family.