National Flower Series – Kingdom of Cambodia (Mistrella Mesnyi or Rumdul)
Rumdul (银帽花、隆都花) or mitrella mesnyi is a species of flowering plant in the soursop family, Annonaceae. In a 2005 royal decree by King Sihamoni of Cambodia, the rumdul or romduol as it is known in Cambodian, was proclaimed the national flower of Cambodia.
This plant has a yellowish-white flower with a single alternate leaf. It has a height of 8–12 m and a stem diameter of 20–30 cm. It gives out an attractive smell in the late afternoon and evening, a distinctive fragrance that can be smelled from a long distance. The rumdul plant also bears edible fruitsgrowing in clusters that will turn dark red when ripe.
Rumdul can grows in wild and seen almost everywhere in Cambodia. Cambodian people like to grow it for decoration of houses and public parks. Due to fragrant smell of Rumdul flower, in ancient Khmer people like to use it for material to produce lip waxes for women. Stem of Rumdul can also be used for supplement construction materials and firewood. In the season of maturing of Rumdul fruit, people who live close to the forest is always collecting the Rumdul fruits to sell for living. Due to the attraction of fragrant smell, therefore, Khmer women have been compared to the Rumdul flower, and also some Khmer’s author has written some song such as Rumdul Kraties and Rumdul Pursat, etc.
It is not an eye catching trees. They are grown by the road sides and many foreigners do not even notice it is the national flower of Cambodia.