Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Rain Tree - 16 Mar 2013


The magnificent Rain Tree is also known as the 5 o'clock Tree (pokok pukul lima). It can grow up to 25m in height with a canopy spreading to 40m wide and bears small pinkish white cluster of flowers throughout the year.

The leaves are light-sensitive, so they will fold during rainy or cloudy weather as well as before sunset and open up again just after sunrise. That's how it got its name, Rain Tree or 5 o'clock Tree. This feature actually helps to retain more moisture for the tree by enabling more dew to settle when the leaves are folded.

Ever heard of the artificial rain from the Rain Tree?? If you're under the tree and you feel a drizzle of water drops, blame cicadas, not the tree! Cicadas love big trees like the Rain Tree. When many cicadas congregate on warm days, they feed on the tree fluids and often urinate while doing so. This bug urine is called 'honey dew'. It feels like rain drops. Thus, the Rain Tree got its name. So don't be so sure the next time you're under the shade of a rain tree, it could be 'pee' on your head!


We're so captivated by the stories like the Rain Tree and others from the Malaysian Nature Society veterans. Kudos to these elderly folks with such zeal to share their knowledge. We've joined them to identify the trees and plants at the Lake Gardens, KL.

I didn't know how Wei got distracted by a wounded pigeon.

The beautiful flower of Rose of Venezuela produces a lot of nectar and is attractive to birds and butterflies.

Rose of Venezuela : from shoots, leaf sheath, leaf stalks to pale green young leaves (clock-wise).


2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I would seek your opinion about a tree in my garden... it is neither a Crepe Myrtle nor a Pokuk Pukul Lima (or The Rain tree your described above). But still it continuously drops water just like rain drops... I dont know what tree it is but I have got two such trees...

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I hv very little knowledge on trees, but as far as I know, cicadas do not only inhabit rain trees, they love tall trees to drink the plant sap. Perhaps it's the cicadas' waste that causes the water droplets. Also check the leaves whether they fold & unfold during certain time like rain tree. Tis feature could be the cause of water droplets cos it retains more moisture for the tree by enabling more dew to settle when the leaves are folded. Hope this is helpful.

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