Scientific name: Dryobalanops oblongifolia
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Keladan trees in Taman Tugu
The Keladan 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 Keladan tree is a large, emergent tree with buttresses and is able to grow up to about 60m tall. The girth of the trunk can reach up to 1.5m wide, the bark is dark yellowish-brown and flaky. The green narrowly oblong leaves, are in alternate arrangement. The species epithet “oblongifolia” refers to the shape of the leaf(oblongus = rather long and folia = leaves). The flowers are usually 6 borne on axillary and terminal panicle inflorescence up to 14cm long with white petals and glabrous, yellow anthers present, and 40 stamens unequal and reaching to below the style apex. The fruit is a winged nut with a lenticellate surface.
The fruits make excellent raw vegetable. This tree is a source of kapur timber which is commonly harvested from the wild for local use and for export. The wood is used for construction of wharves, boats, bridges, shipbuilding, and railway sleepers. The Keladan is threatened due to habitat loss, however has not yet been assessed for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List. This close relative to kapur or Dryobalanops aromatica which is an important source of camphor.
These tropical trees occur mixed dipterocarp forest, growing by streams, in fresh water swamps and on hillsides at elevations up to 600m. These trees are native to Malaysia and Indonesia.