Scientific name: Shorea bentongensis
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Meranti Mengkai trees in Taman Tugu
The Meranti Mengkai 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”). These are one of the trees being added which are classified in ‘Endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species as these trees are heavily harvested for timber – the tree is slow-growing and cannot withstand logging because the reproductive cycle exceeds the cutting cycles.
The Meranti Mengkai is a medium-sized to large tree with bole branchless for a considerable height and exceeding 75cm in diameter, inconspicuous buttresses with the bark more or less smooth, finely longitudinally cracked. The leaves broadly ovate with 13-16 pairs of secondary veins, lower surface glabrous, petiole 8-13mm long. The large fruits have calyx lobes up to 7.5cm×0.8cm.
The Meranti Mengkai is a source of the “White Meranti” timber. The wood is of medium weight, moderately hard, moderately durable, and susceptible to fungi, dry wood borers, and termites. The wood is used as light constructions timber such as plywood and veneer, as door and window frames, and for posts, beams, joists, rafters, planking, light flooring, ceiling, furniture, boat building, amongst others.
These tropical trees are locally common and favours low-lying land and deep valleys in hilly country. These trees are native to Malaysia.