Scientific name: Dipterocarpus grandiflorus
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Keruing Belimbing trees in Taman Tugu
The Keruing Belimbing 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 is one of the species being added which is considered as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species. This species is being threatened due to deforestation.
The Keruing Belimbing tree can grow up to 45m tall with its buttresses that are up to 1m tall. It has a straight bole that can be branchless for up to 30m, and 67cm in diameter. The tree has stalked leaves with a thick leathery leaf blades that are broadly elliptic. Its flowers are unbranched and it has slender shoots. The fruits are ellipsoid and stoutly-stalked and are winged by two enlarged sepals.
This tree is harvested from the wild as a source of wood and resin. The wood yields large quantities of oleo-resin which is used locally as a coat for waterproofing paper, caulking baskets, and boats. The tree is also used in erosion control programmes. It minimises soil erosion on slopes and therefore reduces the resultant sedimentation of streams, lakes, and reservoirs.
These trees grow on dry ridges, and low hills below 400m altitude and they are endemic to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.