Scientific name: Dryobalanops lanceolata
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Kapur Paji trees in Taman Tugu
The Kapur Paji 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”).
The Kapur Paji tree is an emergent tree which can grow up to 70m tall. The leaves are lanceolate, thinly leathery and usually have wavy margin. The petiole is 1 cm long and the stipule falls off early. The branches are dotted with pale brown lenticels. The flowers occur in a cluster, the flower bud is spindle shaped and reveals white lanceolate petals with 30 stamens when in bloom. The fruit calyx lobes are spatula-shaped with an ovoid nut.
The Kapur Paji has a long history of medicinal use, both the aromatic liquid known as ‘oil of camphor’ and the crystallised exudate, or true camphor, being employed.
A bitter, pungent, stimulant herb, it is analgesic, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic and febrifuge. It is used internally to treat conditions such as fainting; convulsions associated with high fever; cholera and pneumonia. It is used externally to treat a range of skin conditions, including ulcers, mouth ulcers, abscesses, boils, cold sores and ringworm. It is also used to treat rheumatism, sore throats, chest infections and conjunctivitis. In aromatherapy, it is used both internally and externally as an antiseptic, sedative and tonic for the heart and adrenal cortex. It is particularly valued for skin problems, rheumatism, infectious diseases, depression and convalescence. The young trees produce a clear yellow, aromatic resin, known as ‘oil of camphor’. This sometimes crystallises in cavities in the trunks of older specimens to form true camphor. The resin is sometimes used for fuel. An essential oil is obtained from the camphor. It is used in perfumes with a camphoraceous note.
The wood is used for a wide range of applications including house construction, bridges, boards, heavy carpentry, joinery, panelling, turnery, tool handles and household utensils, boxes and crates.
These tropical trees grow on fertile volcanic soil, up to 700m altitude. These trees are native to Borneo.