Scientific name: Dyera costulata
Family name: Apocynaceae
Jelutong trees in Taman Tugu
Jelutong trees that are native in Taman Tugu are rare with only 8 mature trees located within our forest. The trunk diameter for 3 of the Jelutong trees within the site range between 130-180cm, which is considered rare even in virgin primary forests. These trees are one of the oldest trees on site estimated to be between 80 – 90 years, standing at 60 – 80m in height.
The crown of the Jelutong tree is distinctly tiered when young, but becomes irregular when mature and can grow up to 80m. The bark is dark grey but can appear black when it is wet. The stalked leaves have leathery to papery leaf blades that are drop-shaped, smooth, with round-toothed-margins. The flowers are white, yellowish-green or pinkish-yellow, and arranged in whorls on long flowering shoots.
Its fruits are brown follicles that split open at one side when mature to reveal seeds that are oval, flattened, and have a broad membranous wing.
Jelutong trees are known for its valued, easily worked, commercial-light hardwood timber. The wood is excellent for carving and is also used, among other things, for making pencils, boxes and crates, and furniture components. The latex from the Jelutong is also sometimes used to make chewing gum.
Jelutong trees are tropical or sub-tropical trees that grow in primary and secondary rainforests, freshwater swamp forests, and open areas up to 1,200m altitude. The Jelutong trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand, and Singapore.