Damar Hitam Gajah
Scientific name: Shorea gibbosa
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Damar Hitam Gajah trees in Taman Tugu
The Damar Hitam tree is an indigenous rainforest tree which is amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site. This tree was selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”).
The Damar Hitam Gajah tree is a large tree, with a vast or cauliflower-shaped crown shape, that generally grows up to 70m tall. It also has large spreading buttresses roots. The tree has alternate, stalked and papery leaf blades that are oval or egg-shaped, which are brown on both surfaces when dry. Its flowering shoots are up to 10cm long, and bear up to 6 white-red flowers. The stamens have swollen filaments. The tree bears green-red-brown fruits which consists of a nut that is 1.8 cm by 1.2 cm, with 3 longer wings and 2 shorter wings.
The trunk of Damar Hitam Gajah tree contains resin. The wood is also used as it is a source of the timber ‘Yellow Meranti’. The heartwood is light yellow to yellow-brown, sometimes with greenish tints and darkening upon exposure to air. The wood is light in weight, soft and moderately durable. The wood is used for purposes such as interior joinery and paneling, furniture, light carpentry, flooring. and veneer.
These emergent trees are found in undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forests at elevations up to 800m. These trees are normally found on alluvial to dry sites, usually on clay soils. These trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, and Sumatra.