Scientific name: Shorea platycarpa
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Meranti Paya trees in Taman Tugu
The Meranti Paya 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 Paya tree is one of the trees being added that is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The Meranti Paya is large, emergent tree, that grows to a height of 30-40 m. The trunk of the tree is straight and branchless to about 25 m of its height with large buttresses. Its bark is fissured regularly and reddish-brown in colour. Its leaves are generally 8-18cm x 5-10cm, elliptic-oblong to broadly ovate, base obtuse to rounded, with rough beneath due to stellate hairs. The leaves, twigs, and stipules are covered with densely matted woolly hairs (tomentose) giving the crown a dark colour. The shape of its fruit is irregular with 3 larger calyx lobes up and 2 smaller ones, with also an ovoid nut. The entire fruit has sparse soft hair.
The Meranti Paya is a valuable source of dark red meranti timber sought for furniture and veneers.
These trees grow in swamp and peat-swamp forests in Malaysia but also occurs on poorly drained pools on former beach terraces in Sabah and Sarawak. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, and Sumatra.