According to the old mythological epic Shiv Purana, Rudraksha was the favorite tree of Lord Shiva and it grew in Gauda land (present day Gangetic plains at the foothills of Himalayas).
Botanical Description of Rudraksha:
Elaeocarpus Ganitrus Roxb.
Tiliaceae, the Lime/Linden family.
The Rudraksha tree inhabits areas starting from Manila, Philippines and passing through Myanmar to North-East India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. However, in present era, the Rudraksha tree is localized only in Eastern Nepal due to suitable climatic conditions.
Rudraksha is a large, evergreen broad-leaved tree found in tropical and sub-tropical areas at the altitudes ranging from sea level to 2,000 meters above the sea level. The tree is a perennial i.e. grows throughout the year and is about 50-200 feet high. a Rudraksha tree takes a pyramidal shape. The leaves of Rudraksha tree are shinning green on the upper side with a dull leathery dorsal side.
Rudraksha flowers are white with fringed petals and they appear in April-May.
Rudraksha fruits appear in June and ripen by August-October. They are globular in shape with a fleshy exterior. The bead present inside is hard and tubercled.
Composition of a Rudraksha:
Rudraksha is covered by a blue outer shell on ripening so it is also called blueberry bead. The percentage compositions of the gaseous elements present in a Rudraksha was determined by C-H-N analysis and by gas chromatography. Rudraksha beads contain 50.031 % carbon, 0.95% nitrogen, 17.897% hydrogen and 30.53% oxygen.