Characteristics of Rain Tree (Samanea saman) in the Wild

Samanea saman
Rain tree or Monkeypod is a tree species in the Fabaceae family and is native to Central and South America. Its range extends from southern Mexico to Peru and Brazil but has been widely introduced to Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Hawaii.

The rain tree is a tree known for its strong wood, rivaled by the Lebbeck Tree (Albizia lebbeck) and the Pink Siris Tree (Albizia julibrissin) among its genus. Rain trees also have many local synonym names in areas such as America and Europe, rain trees are commonly known as Rain Tree, Raintree, Samaan Tree, Monkey Pod Tree, Giant Thibet, Inga Saman, Cow Tamarind, East Indian Walnut, Soar, and Suar.

Since its discovery in 1799 in America, Alexander von Humboldt has researched giant rain trees near Maracay, Venezuela. He measures the circumference of the roof of the crown to 180.8 meters and the diameter of the trunk is 2.8 meters.

Humboldt said that the tree has not changed much since it was discovered during the Spanish colonial era in Venezuela. He estimated that the tree was as old as the dragon tree in the Canary Islands (Dracaena draco).

The tree, which was called Samán de Güere (transcribed by von Humboldt Zamang del Guayre) and still stands today. Today, the giant rain tree is a national treasure of Venezuela. Just like the dragon tree in the Canary Islands, although the age of the giant rain tree in Venezuela is not known for sure.

As the Humboldt report explains, according to local tradition, the tree is more than 500 years old.

In a study conducted at the Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia, mature rain trees with a crown diameter of 15 meters absorb 28.5 tons of CO2 per year. Because of this, rain trees have been planted in various regions in Indonesia such as Kudus, Demak, and also along the shoulder of the road from Semarang to Losari.


Characteristics of Rain Tree Leaf

Samanea saman Leaf
Source : and Kim Starr

The leaves are compound and have a stalk length of 7-15 cm. Rain tree leaves fold when it rains and at night, so this tree is called a “rain tree”.


Characteristics of Rain Tree Flower

Samanea saman Flower
Source : Eickhoff

Rain tree flower length reaches 10 cm from the base of the flower to the tip of the flower, white and pink on the top. The tree flowers in May and June.


Characteristics of Rain Tree Fruit

Samanea saman Fruit
Source : Khare

Rain tree fruit is long and slightly curved, about 10-20 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide, and about 0.6 cm thick. The fruit is green when young and turns blackish brown when ripe.


Characteristic of Rain Tree

Samanea saman Tree
Source : Cutler

Rain tree has a tree growth with a crown-shaped like a broad roof umbrella. Usually, this tree can be found growing as high as 35-40 meters, although it can reach 60 meters in height (but rarely).

Rain trees are often planted in large public spaces such as parks or roadsides.

The shape of the tree is easily recognized by the characteristics of the crown roof such as the shape of an umbrella, and the width of the entire crown roof exceeds the height of the tree.


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