Meranti Daun Besar
Scientific name: Shorea hemsleyana
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Meranti Daun Besar trees in Taman Tugu
Meranti Daun Besar 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. This species is being threatened due to deforestation.
Meranti Daun Besar is a medium-sized tree with hemispherical crown that usually grows 20m tall and 40cm in diameter. The leaves are big elliptic-oblong to obovate-oblong. The flowers are pinkish-red and can be found in abundance on the forest floor during its flowering season. The fruit is large with an ovoid or cylindrical nut and has rudimentary wings.
The wood is used for furniture production. The edible fat obtained from the seed is similar to cacao butter that can be used to treat skin problem, for making soap, candles, and cosmetics.
These trees grow on well-drained clayey and sandy soil in forests, swamps, alluvial sites, hillsides and ridges up to 600m altitude. These tropical trees are found in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.