Scientific name: Artocarpus rigidus
Family name: Moraceae
Keledang Temponek trees in Taman Tugu
The Keledang Temponek 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 tree was one of the trees selected to be added because its fruits are eaten by tree-living mammals such as civet cats, monkeys, and squirrels. It is also the locally preferred food plant for caterpillars of the moth, the Jackfruit Borer (Diaphania caesalis or Glyphodes caesalis).
The Keledang Temponek tree grows up to 35m tall, and has a dense, heavy, dark green, spreading crown, and short buttresses. Its twigs, leaf stalks, and leaf blade veins on the underside are covered with stiff hairs. The leaves are spirally arranged, stalked leaves have leathery blades that are usually oval to drop-shaped, dark shiny green, with blunt or slight tips, and narrowed bases. Its leaf parts also exude white latex when damaged. This species is monoecious, bearing both male and female flowers in the leaf axils on the same plant. The male flower clusters are yellow, flattened, and oval. ts fruiting cluster (infructescence) is round, up to 10 cm wide, and ripens from greenish-yellow to dull-orange. The cluster is covered with stiff, conical spines of the non-reproductive, outer floral parts (perianths). The cluster also bears ellipsoid fruits that are up to 1.5 cm long each. Its seeds are embedded in orange, waxy pulp.
The sweet orange flesh is usually eaten raw. The fruit is sweet and juicy. The seeds are eaten roasted, it has a sweet flavour.
The sticky latex is mixed with wax and used in Batik work. A yellow dye is obtained from the wood and is used for textiles. The wood is a source of keledang timber and is used for furniture, house building, turnery, light carpentry, interior joinery and panelling, boxes and crates, boats and for making high class coffins in Malaysia.
These trees occur in deep, well-drained soil; young plants need some shade, but need increasing light levels as they mature. These trees grow in lowland evergreen forests up to 1,000 m altitude. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.