Scientific name: Baccaurea ramiflora
Family name: Phyllanthaceae
Burmese Grape trees in Taman Tugu
The Burmese Grape tree is an indigenous rainforest tree which is 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”). These trees were selected because of their fruiting ability which attracts various birds and mammals such as monkeys and squirrels with the aim of cultivating a balanced ecosystem in Taman Tugu.
It’s a medium sized tree which reaches 20-25m in height with a round and shady crown. The thin, pale cream or orange-brown bark is sometimes smooth or slightly fissured and flaking. The foliage of the tree is papery and oblong, and the upper surface of the leaf is green in colour whilst the lower surface is yellowish-green.
The Burmese Grape tree produces small flowers that are yellowish-white in colour. These flowers are borne in clusters on old branches or trunks. The male flower can grow up to 15cm long, while the female can reach up to 35cm long.
Its fruits are edible with a sweet-sour taste. The colour of the fruit ranges from yellowish, pinkish to bright red or purple when the fruits mature. When young, the fruit is sometimes confused with the Langsat fruit. The seeds are dispersed by the birds and mammals that consume the fruits.
The bark, roots and wood of this tree is sometimes harvested for medicinal purposes to treat skin diseases.
These trees are tropical and commonly grow in primary or secondary forests up to 1,700m altitude. The trees are native to Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Southern China, and India.