Scientific name: Mangifera griffithii
Family name: Anacardiaceae
Rawa trees in Taman Tugu
The Rawa tree is an indigenous rainforest species found amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site, selected in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”).
The Rawa tree is an evergreen tree which can grow up to 20-30m tall. The bole is usually free of branches for more than half its height, and can grow up to 80cm in diameter and free of buttresses. It’s foliage is spirally arranged and the stalked leaves have thinly leathery leaf blades that are elliptic to drop shaped. Its cream white flowers develop in the flowering roots. The fruits produced are fleshy and are produced in clusters. They are ellipsoid, starting with smooth green texture, and with time they turn to yellow and then red and finally blackish.
The Rawa tree belongs to the same genus as the mango tree. The fruits, like mangoes, are edible – the firm and rather juicy orange-yellow pulp has a sweet-sour flavor, and a slight burnt sugar taste. The fruits are sold in local markets, usually at a premium price compared to mangoes due to its scarcity. The wood, commonly known as ‘Machang’ timber, is used for light construction, flooring, interior paneling, boxes, crates, pallets and plywood manufacture.
These tropical trees grow in moist, lowland tropics – growing in areas with no distinctively dry season. These trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Sumatra.