Scientific name: Baccaurea brevipes
Family name: Phyllanthaceae (Euphorbiaceae)
Rambai Tikus trees in Taman Tugu
Rambai tikus 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.
It is a shrub or small-sized tree that grows up to 18m tall with a slender crown. The tree bark is fissured and finely ridged. The leaves are alternate, long-stalked leaves have papery leaf blades that are oval to drop-shaped, finely velvety below, measuring about 15–36cm long and 6.2–14cm wide. Its male flowers are yellowish-green, 1.5–3mm wide and found in clusters up to 18 cm long. Its female flowering clusters have pink branches, are up to 23cm long and bear 5–7mm wide female flowers. The fruits are round berries, measuring about 10–19mm wide. They are found on hanging strings up to 30cm long from the trunk. They are also ripen from waxy white to rose-pink and contain one to three seeds embedded in blue pulp.
The fruit is eaten raw. Also, an extract of the leaves is used to regulate menstruation.
These trees grow in primary and secondary rainforest on sandy loam, and seasonal swamp forest up to 700m altitude and are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatera and Borneo.