Scientific name: Cynometra ramiflora
Family name: Apocynaceae
Kekatong Laut trees in Taman Tugu
The Kekatong Laut 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 species was selected to attract fauna to the site – it is the food plant for the caterpillars of the moth, Carea costiplaga.
The Kekatong Laut tree is a medium-sized tree which can grow up to 26m tall. Its crown is rounded and umbrella-like in shape. Each of its leaves are made up of 2 asymmetrical leaflets and are smooth. The mature leaves are green but rosy pink when young.
It produces small, white flowers which are found on rather inconspicuous clusters. The fruit pods are brown, about 5–10cm long and 5cm wide. There is a line on the fruit that divides the fruit into 2. The skin of the fruit is uneven and wrinkled.
These trees are used for timber products. The dark-brown, heavy and hard timber is used to make door-posts and for construction. It is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental tree. It is also suitable for planting along roadsides and gardens as a shade-providing tree.
These tropical trees grow on rocky and sandy seashores, tidal rivers, in the landward side of mangrove forests, and inland forests up to 400m altitude. These trees are native from India, and throughout Southeast Asia (including Malaysia) to the Pacific.