Scientific name: Castanopsis inermis
Family name: Fagaceae
Berangan trees in Taman Tugu
The Berangan tree is an indigenous rainforest tree that are amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site, selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”).
The Berangan tree is a medium-sized tree which can grow up to ~30m and has an irregular crown. Its grey bark is rough, with lenticels. The leaves are spirally arranged. The stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are inverse lanced-shaped. The leaf blades are hairless above but with hairs beneath. The flowers are produced in clusters of male, female, and bisexual flowering shoots. Both male and female flowers may be solitary or in clusters of 3–7 (for male) and 3–4 (for female).
As for the fruits, a cupule encloses the fruit completely. Its depressed obovoid-globose cupule has fine brownish-yellow hairs. The cupule has 3–4 lobes marked with curving bands that have thick tubercles. The fruit (nut) is densely covered with reddish-brown hair. The fruits are also in clusters of 1–4, with the central fruit being rounded-triangular in cross section, while the smaller lateral fruits are egg-shaped or rounded.
The seed from the fruit are edible and can be consumed raw or cooked. The seeds are boiled, parched, roasted or used in chocolates and pastries. The bark is a source of tannins and can be used as a dye to weatherproof fibres. The branches and stems of many Castanopsis species are used as bed logs in mushroom cultivation. The wood is a good fuel and can be used to make charcoal.
These trees are generally tolerant of a range of soils, preferably well-drained. They succeed in full sun, though young plants generally grow best in dappled woodland shade. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.