Scientific name: Intsia palembanica
Family name: Fabaceae
Merbau trees in Taman Tugu
The Merbau 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 Merbau tree can grow up to 50m tall, with pinkish-grey bark that is shallowly marked with small, thin, roundish scaling pieces. The buttresses, when present, can be up to 4m tall. Its alternate, stalked, pinnate leaves usually have 4 pairs of opposite leaflets. Its flowering shoot is up to 10cm long, with pale yellowish flowers. The fruits are smooth fruits are brown or black when ripe, 15–40 by 5.5–9cm, and contain several seeds.
The Merbau tree is suitable for planting in parks. The bark and leaves are used medicinally and also used to make various brown and yellow dyes. The wood is the main source of the commercial timber known as Merbau. The young seeds are edible.
These trees grow in coastal regions, and inland lowland forests, up to 850m altitude. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, Bormeo, Sumatra, Thailand, and India.