Scientific name: Elateriospermum tapos
Family name: Phyllanthaceae(Euphorbiaceae)
Perah trees in Taman Tugu
The Perah 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”).
The Perah tree is a large-sized tree that can grow up to 50m tall in its natural habitat. The girth size can reach up to 56cm wide with buttresses up to 2m tall. The bark is pale brown to grey with a smooth to finely fissured surface. The leaves are elliptic to obovate. The tree produces white to pale yellow flowers borne on a terminal cymose inflorescence. The male flowers are about 2.4mm-3.5mm wide and female flowers are about 3.2mm-5.3mm wide. The fruit is oblong-ellipsoid in shape and turns from green to almost black when ripe, and contains 3 brownish-grey seeds.
The wood is used as a source of fuel and the latex from this tree is used to shield dirty wounds. Other than that, the seeds are used in cooking to add more flavour to the dish.
These trees can be found in primary and secondary forests, mixed dipterocarp forests and forest edges. These trees are native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.