Scientific name: Diospyros diepenhorstii
Family name: Ebenaceae
Kayu Arang trees in Taman Tugu
The Kayu Arang 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”). It was one of the trees added to attract fauna to the site – the fruits are eaten by mammals like squirrels and monkeys.
This species of the Kayu Arang tree is a medium sized tree which grows up to 30m tall. Its alternate, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are papery to leathery, green, oblong, with secondary veins that arch and become less visible towards the leaf blade margins. The male flowering shoots bear many male flowers whilst the female flowering shoots bear the female flowers in clusters. Both the male and female flowering shoots develop from older twigs, branches and trunk.
The fruits produced are drop-shaped to oblong-ellipsoid, vertically ribbed, turning yellow when ripe. They develop in clusters, and contain up to 16 seeds each enclosed in a thin, fruit pulp.
The fruits are edible and consumed by locals. The fruits have soft flesh and is acidic. The wood is used locally for posts, beams, joists, rafters, window sills, parts of agricultural implements, scabbards, canes, hilts, tool handles, gunstocks, saw frames, musical instruments especially finger boards and keys of guitars; furniture, cabinetwork, inlaying; paper weights, inkstands and similar desk supplies, T-squares and other drawing instruments, for shuttles, bobbins, spindles, golf-club heads and shafts, axe, pick, and hammer handles, amongst others.
These tropical, sub-tropical/ monsoonal trees occur in lowland primary and hill to lower montane forests, up to 1800 m altitude. These trees are native to Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Thailand, and the Philippines.