The Walking Tree, Socratea exorrhiza

September 4, 2023 My travel Journal, The most beautiful places in Colombia

Colombian Amazon Rainforest

In the humid forests of the tropics, there is a species of palm tree with long aerial roots that, according to popular belief, allow them to walk.

An Amazing Tree

This palm tree, which can grow up to 20 meters in height, begins to grow with exposed roots. The oldest ones remain in the center; they dry up and die over time. New roots burst directly from the trunk, where a thick bulge forms, and from there, a tentacle begins to grow, seeking the ground.

This young root breaks the bark with its small and sharp spikes, and as it grows, it has a bright brownish shade, and its surface is smooth and soft. Upon reaching the ground, the spikes grow, and their color becomes darker.

These new growths may help the plant find more fertile soil or allow it to move to a location with greater access to sunlight, but the movement is so imperceptible that it would be difficult to measure it. Still, it’s a fascinating plant. The indigenous people in the Amazon use the bark of the palm to grate their food.


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