Melaka Tree at Banda Hilir, look at its wide shady branch.
The Name of the state of Melaka actually came from a tree. A Melaka tree. Melaka tree is a common species in South East Asia and India but look like India is the largest to consume it’s fruits. This tree also known as Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus). Kinda quite pre-historic tree as the tree was recorded in India as ayurvedic healing fruit and in Malay folk tales.
Melaka tree at the river bank of Melaka river
The name Melaka was coined when a Palembang prince from the island of Sumatra set foot in Melaka and was resting below a tree when he saw a mousedeer outwitting a dog. Seeing such an ominous event, the Palembang prince Parameswara asked his aides what was the name of the tree that he was resting under – he was told that it is the Melaka Tree.
Fruit still at the top.
Now the Melaka Tree is just a symbol and not utilized as a plantation or crops. We can find the Melaka tree along Melaka river when cruising with Melaka River Cruise and around Stadhuys complex at Banda Hilir. The tree provide a shady place for relaxing as the branches of the tree is wide open. Fruit can be eaten raw but the taste is bitter sweet. Locals prefer to consume it as a pickle. There is local cake dedicated to the Melaka fruit that is ‘Buah Melaka’ or Melaka Fruit Cake. For more readings about this tree and its connection with the state, please visit here, here and here.
Buah Melaka Cake Vs Buah Melaka Fruit.