Enveloped in tree roots: a temple entrance at the mysterious 12th century Angkor Wat, photographed 2 weeks ago in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The 3 days we spent exploring these enigmatic ruins was the highlight of our trip. The tree roots are invasive to such a degree that huge blocks of stone are jostled around like Lego blocks; the tree is peculiar in the fact that it grows from the top down, gaining the moisture it needs from the rocks it crawls upon rather than the ground underneath.
copyright Jo Ann Brown-Scott, 2015
I am very intrigued by these trees. In some of the other pictures they look like a slow waterfall, or a slowly creeping creature….animal or plant. They are so very interesting. Do you know the name of the tree?
The “strangling trees of Angkor Wat” are actually called Bodhi trees – and I have also heard them referred to as Silk Cotton trees. They are amazingly resilient – far different than most common trees. They store huge quantities of water in their trunks and they gather water from the cracks between stones, and they grow down from the top rather than up from the ground.
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We too spent 3 days exploring there – all truly amazing! Did you know when western explorers first discovered Angkor, and the other ruins in the area they assumed they were created by westerners. Ha! They didn’t believe the Khmer could have been so sophisticated – so patronising.