Scientific name: Shorea ovalis
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Meranti Kepong trees in Taman Tugu
The Meranti Kepong 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”).
The Meranti Kepong tree is an upper canopy tree which can grow up to 49m tall and diameter of 138cm. The leaves are alternate, simple, penni-veined, very narrow and elongate. The petiole and lower surface are scaly, feeling like sand paper. The flowers produced are white-yellow, and placed in panicles. The fruits are reddish, with three long wings which are wind dispersed.
The timber is a source of the ‘Light Red Meranti’. The wood is used for several purposes including interior and exterior panelling and joinery, light carpentry, boxes and crates, and veneer. The tree is also harvested for its high quality resin. The dammar (hard resin) obtained from the is used for candle making, soap manufacture and for illumination. The bark is used in local houses for walls and floors and for temporary shelters.
These trees are usually found on hillsides and ridges, rarely alluvial, in undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forests at elevations up to 700m. When found in secondary forests, it is usually present as a pre-disturbance remnant tree. These trees are native to Malaysia and Indonesia.