Discover the Truth If These Amazing Trees Can Actually Walk… Yes, Walk!

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: October 15, 2023
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Have you ever heard of a walking palm tree? It sounds like something out of a fairytale, but it’s actually quite real! The Socratea exorrhiza is found in Latin America and is one of the most fascinating trees on Earth.

The walking palm tree is a type of palm tree found in the rainforests of Latin America. This unique species has evolved over time to have an unusual feature – it can “walk” across the forest floor! This movement helps the tree spread its seeds further away from its parent plant, giving them more space to grow and thrive. But how exactly does this amazing feat occur? Let’s find out!

How Does The Walking Palm Walk?

Socratea exorrhiza, the walking palm or cashapona, is a palm native to rainforests in tropical Central and South America. Arecaceae family. Amazon rainforest, Brazil.

This palm tree is unique among plants because it can walk and thrive in difficult conditions.


The walking palm tree uses aerial roots that are located near its base as support structures for stability while moving around. These specialized root systems act like legs or tentacles that allow it to slowly move up to several meters per year! As these roots touch down onto new soil, they take hold and begin growing into larger supporting structures which help propel the tree forward even more quickly than before. In addition, when existing aerial roots become too long, they eventually break off at their tips allowing for easier maneuvering through dense vegetation or other obstacles in order for them to reach their destination faster. 

This palm truly stands out among all other plants due to its incredible ability to walk which allows it to survive better than many other trees in harsh climates. This is particularly beneficial when resources may be scarce or difficult to access by traditional means such as animal dispersal methods (i.e., birds). Not only does this species demonstrate remarkable resilience but also serves as an example of nature’s adaptability when faced with environmental pressures – making us appreciate our environment even more!

How Far Does The Walking Palm Tree Walk?

The exact distance that the walking palm trees travel can vary greatly from one location to another. Some have been known to move up to 20 meters yearly while others may only go as little as 1 meter each year. In general, these unique plants tend to stay within their original area and will not wander too far away from where they first grew – usually no more than 100 meters or so.

When Does The Walking Palm Tree Walk?

As for when the trees walk, this depends on several factors including climate conditions such as rainfall levels and temperature variations throughout the seasons. Most species are active during the summer months. However, some activity occurs during winter too if there is enough rain around at those times (which helps them move).

How Does Rain Help The Walking Palm Tree?

Walking Palms along a Rain Forest Path in La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica

The walking palm tree, like many other plants, relies on rain for survival.


Rain is a crucial part of the life cycle of many plants, including the walking palm tree. This unique species has adapted to its environment in an incredible way and relies on rain for survival.

Rainfall plays an important role in helping this tree survive. Rain provides much-needed moisture which allows it to grow strong enough so that it can continue moving around its environment, searching for sustenance. 

Rain also helps ensure there are plenty of nutrients available from decomposing organic matter such as leaves, twigs, bark, etc. This provides essential nourishment for the tree’s growth and development. By breaking down these materials into simpler forms, rain enables them to be absorbed more easily by soil organisms. This process allows them to access vital minerals required by living things like nitrogen phosphorus, potassium, etc.

Additionally, rainfall replenishes groundwater levels making sure there’s always a source nearby if ever needed during dry spells. All-in-all without regular precipitation, walking palm trees would struggle greatly with surviving their harsh environments.

How Often Does The Walking Palm Tree Actually Walk?

Finally, how often do these remarkable plants take steps? Again, this varies depending on environmental conditions. However, they can be seen taking strides once every few weeks or even just once every couple of months. This makes them quite slow-moving compared with animals! 

What Does The Walking Palm Tree Look Like?

The branching root structure of Walking Trees and the forest floor in the Amazon Rainforest in Tambopata National Reserve, Puerto Maldonado, Peru

The “crown” of leaves atop a walking palm tree gives it a distinctive appearance.

©Tracy Immordino/

Walking palm trees can reach a height of up to 25 meters. They have a distinctive “crown” of leaves at the top. The leaves of the walking palm tree are pinnate and grow up to 4 meters long. The tree’s trunk is relatively thin, ranging from 15 to 20 cm in diameter.

Does The Walking Palm Tree Help Our Planet?

The walking palm tree is an important part of the rainforest ecosystem, providing habitat and food for many species of animals. The leaves are eaten by sloths and monkeys, and the trunk provides shelter for various insects and invertebrates.

The walking palm tree is also valued by the indigenous people of the rainforest, who use it for various purposes. The leaves are woven into baskets, mats, and roofs, while the wood is used for construction and fuel.

Is the Walking Palm Endangered?

Due to deforestation, the walking palm tree is considered an endangered species. Efforts are being made to protect this remarkable tree and its habitat through conservation and reforestation programs.

Can Trees See Us?

Aspen trees, part of the Pando Clone, grow near Fish Lake in Utah. The Pando Clone is the heaviest living organism on earth.

While the evidence is still fairly limited, more recent studies have discovered certain proteins in plants that act as eyespots.

©Reuben Jolley Photography/

Trees are similar to humans in that they have senses although their senses may far exceed ours. Trees, and plants, are able to hear, feel, see, smell, taste, and even touch although it is believed that they have many more senses than that. There has been research in the past few years that suggests trees have the potential to see and that they may even possess something similar, albeit on a much simpler level, to the human eye. Additionally, they are capable of seeing parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that humans can’t, such as infrared and ultraviolet.

This theory was hypothesized many years ago, in the early part of the 1900s, and until recently remained just that – a hypothesis. While the evidence is still fairly limited, more recent studies have discovered certain proteins in plants that act as eyespots. It was also observed that plants’ potential for seeing is something that humans do not yet fully understand.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © The beauty of the world/

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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