Scientific name: Dipterocarpus chartaceus
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Keruing Kertas trees in Taman Tugu
The Keruing Kertas is an indigenous rainforest tree which is amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site. This tree was selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”). It is one of the trees added that is classified as critically endangered, because its population is threatened by land conversion that consequently degrades their habitat.
The Keruing Kertas is a tropical tree which grows up to 40m tall with a 4m girth. The bark is greyish brown and it has ovate-lanceolate leaves with secondary veins. The flowers are white, yellowish-green or pinkish-yellow, and arranged in whorls on long flowering shoots. Chartaceus translates to ‘papery’ in Latin, which refers to the papery texture of the leaves. Its flower has white petals, with hints of red at the inner side of the petals. The fruit is composed of 3 short calyx lobes and 2 larger calyx lobes and has 3-nerve wings.
These trees are well known for timber, but less acknowledged for its use in traditional herbal medicine.
Back then these trees were tapped for oleoresins which were ingredients used for varnish, caulking the boats as well as illumination.
These trees can be found in coastal areas that has swamps as well as lowlands. These trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand.