You may not have noticed it while walking along the riverbank around the Bandar Hilir area.
The Melaka tree has have aptly been planted to remind visitors where his historical state derived its name from.
The Melaka tree came into prominence when Parameswara who was resting under a tree saw a white mousedeer bravely taking on his hunting dogs. Curious, he inquired about the tree he was resting under and found that it was the Melaka tree.
Parameswara resting under a Melaka tree when a mousedeer attacked his hunting dogs
Thus he decided to found a settlement there and named the place Melaka.
Melaka Tree Fruit
According to a FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia) report, it’s ccientifically known as Phyllanthus emblica, and its fruit bears a sweet-astringent taste .
Also known as Indian gooseberry (Amla in Hindi and Nelli in Tamil), it’features prominently in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is recognized for its anti-viral and antimicrobial benefits.
Research has also shown that it’s effective in reducing blood cholesterol and the reduction of blood glucose.
In John Cameron’s book, Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India: Being a Descriptive Account of Singapore, Penang and Malacca, published in 1865, the Melaka tree was thus described:
“A handsome tree and fruit. From its abundance round the site of the town at the first arrival of the Malays, Malacca is supposed to have derived its name. The fruit has astringent properties. The fruit is made into cataplasm, and applied to the head in cases of giddiness.”
The fruit has also inspired a local delicacy called kuih buah Melaka or popularly known as onde-onde.
You’ll notice that the kuih is in the shape, size and colour of buah Melaka.
kuih buah melaka