Scientific name: Hopea mengarawan
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Merawan Penak trees in Taman Tugu
Merawan Penak 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.
Merawan Penak is a medium to large-sized tree that can grow up to 60m tall and 100cm in diameter. The tree has prominent buttressed bole and the tree can be branchless for up to 25m and sometimes even more. The leaves are alternate and stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are oblong-lance-shaped measuring about 6-12cm long and 2.5-5cm wide. The tree produces white-yellowish flowers that are about 5mm wide. Each flowering shoot is up to 3cm long and bears up to 6 flowers. Its green-red fruits consist of a narrowly ovoid nut that is 1 by 0.5cm, with 2 longer wings that are about 7 by 1.2 cm, and 3 shorter wings that are about 0.6 by 0.5 cm.
Resin from the tree is used for torches, caulking boats and basket. The wood is mainly used for planking and in medium construction such as doors and windows.
These tree are found on ridges and hillsides with poor sandy to clayey soils in the wild, also on ultrabasic. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatera, and Borneo.