Scientific name: Lithocarpus elegans
Family name: Fagaceae
Mempening trees in Taman Tugu
The Mempening tree is an indigenous rainforest tree 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 ‘Critically Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species due to deforestation.
The Mempening tree is a medium-sized tree that can grow up to 30m tall and 70cm in diameter. The tree bark is greyish-brown and deeply fissured. The leaves are spirally arranged. The stalked leaves have thick leathery leaf blades that are elongate oval. The leaves are hairless and glossy above. The male flowers grow in clusters of 12, while the female flowers are in clusters of 6. The flowers are inflorescence, staminodes and hairy. The fruits are hairless and ovoid-conical shaped. Its cup is densely covered with dull brownish yellow hair.
These trees are harvested from the wild by locals to use as food and source of materials. These trees are rich in tannins and can be used as a dye and preservative for ropes.
These trees can be found on a variety of soils, growing in hill mixed dipterocarp forest to lower montane forest; at elevations up to 1500m. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.