Scientific name: Tristaniopsis whiteana
Family name: Myrtaceae
Pelawan trees in Taman Tugu
The Pelawan 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 Pelawan tree can grow up to 24m in height. It has a bark which is flakey, orange, grey, and white in color. The alternate, stalked leathery leaves are varying, 7-20cm by 2-5.5cm. The flowers are tiny, about 5mm wide, with white petals and reddish sepals. These flowers are borne on a branched flowering shoot measuring 5-7.5cm wide.
The Pelawan tree produces small fruits which are ellipsoid and about 2.5mm-4mm wide.
Although it is found naturally in forests and hills, but due to the fact of it is a coastal plant, with a neat crown, strong roots, and smooth peeling bark that is orange-grey-brown in color, it is suitable for some landscaping purposes such as gardens, parks, and streetscapes. The tree is also planted along steep slopes as the roots are able to prevent landslides along cliffs. The timber is good for making straight beams and post.
These tropical trees grow along rivers from freshwater tidal reaches to the foothills. These trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, and Sumatra.
They are widely distributed from rocky coasts to mountains and certain coastal forests and hills in several regions such as Johor, Pahang, Selangor, and Terengganu.