Scientific name: Hopea apiculata
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Giam Melukut trees in Taman Tugu
The Giam Melukut 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”). This is one of the species being added which is considered as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species due to its restricted distribution and habitat degradation resulting from land conversion activities.
This tree is a small tree with a trunk girth rarely exceeding 1.0m and has a smooth bark. It is endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and inhabits lowland areas of dipterocarp forests up to 610m altitudes. This species has a short and dark bole with light patches and a few exudations of pale dammar. The buttresses are rather sharp and tend to be stilted. The thin outer bark is dark in colour while the inner bark is about 8mm thick and the sapwood is pale coloured and hard. The tree’s leaves resemble Neobalanocarpus heimii, known locally as chengal which is oblong-lanceolate in shape and sometimes slightly unequal-sided. It turns yellow-brown when dried. H. apiculata produces a small fruit with rudimentary wings and the nut is up to 2cm long.
This tree is of no potential value to the timber industry as the trees are too small to produce good timber. The local villagers usually harvest it for poles.
These trees are endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and is recorded in Perak from Beruas Forest Reserve (FR), Bubu FR, Manong, and Kuala Kangsar and in Kelantan from Ulu Sat FR and Bukit Yong. It inhabits lowland areas of dipterocarp forests up to 610m altitude.