Scientific name: Alstonia angustiloba
Family name: Apocynaceae
Pulai trees in Taman Tugu
Many of the Pulai trees found within the site are native to Taman Tugu. It is one of the more dominant soft wood tree species within our forest with a total of 35 trees preserved on site. These trees are estimated to be between 80 – 90 years old with heights up to 40m and trunk diameters ranging between 140 – 170cm.
The Pulai is a mid-canopy tree, with a pagoda-shaped crown, that generally grows up to 40m. The deeply fluted, buttressed dark grey trunk is smooth when young, becoming slightly cracked when it gets older. The wood is soft and pale yellow in colour with oval-shaped leathery leaves that are glossy dark green on top and pale green below. The fragrant flowers produced are creamy white. The fruits develop as a pair of smooth pods, covered with brown hair, containing many seeds. Its dark brown, wind-dispersed seeds are smooth, oblong and flat.
Buoyancy being key, the soft wood Pulai is often used to make rafts. It is also used in the making of floor boards, match sticks, and light furniture. Medicinally, the latex of the bark can be used to treat abscesses and boils.
Pulai trees are tropical plants that grow in forests, swamps, hills, loams or sandy soils up to 200m altitude. These trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Singapore.