Rain tree is one of the most common wayside trees in Singapore. With the tiny leaves on the branches spread out impressively shaping like an umbrella, it provides great shade from the scorching sun.
The cute little leaves only open during the day time when the sun is shining. By the time evening rolls by with the setting sun, the leaves will start to close. On rainy days, the leaves remain close as well!
Do you know that rain tree is also known as Pukul Lima? In Malay, it means 5 o'clock.
5 o'clock? The sun in Singapore doesn't set that early. Sunset normally happens between 6.30 pm - 7.30 pm. The nickname got stuck and remained forever even after we adjusted our timezone many times over the 20th century before we decided for real that we are staying put with GMT +8.
It is not just our first prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's favourite tree, it is also one of my favourite trees here in Singapore too! Often, I would stare into one and wander how did it grow till so magnificent.