Scientific name: Anisoptera laevis
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Mersawa Durian trees in Taman Tugu
The Mersawa durian 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 Mersawa durian tree is an autotrophic angiosperm that can grow between 30m – 65m in height. It has an irregular shape with alternate, stalked and leathery leaf blades that are oblong, oval or drop-shaped, 7 – 11 by 3 – 4cm, and dries to brown or greenish above, and brown or reddish-brown below. Its midrib is sharp below, conspicuously darker than the leaf blade when dried, and densely covered with fine, red-brown hair below.
It has yellow flowers grow on flowering shoots that are up to 12 cm long. Its fruits have nuts which are about 9 – 15 by 10 – 15 mm, and have disc-shaped tips. Each fruit has 2 longer wings that are 9 – 15 by 0.9 – 1.5cm, and 3 shorter wings that are 0.6 – 1.5 by 0.1 – 0.3cm.
The Mersawa Durian tree is widely used in landscaping. It is suitable for planting along streetscapes, parks and gardens for its attractive young red leaves and fruits.
These trees grow in forests on clayey loam soils, up to 900 m altitude. These trees are native to Malaysia and Singapore.