Scientific name: Flacourtia rukam
Family name: Salicaceae
Rukam trees in Taman Tugu
The Rukam 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 Rukam tree is a medium-sized tree that grows up to 20m tall. The leaves are alternately arranged and stalked leaves have leathery to almost leathery leaf blades that are red to brown when young. The leaves are egg-shaped-oblong, oval to oblong-lance-shaped, with toothed margins. Its flowering clusters are finely covered with hair and found at the leaf axils. They bear few greenish-yellow flowers. Its stalked fruits are globose to depress globose or drop-shaped, turning pink or dark red when ripe.
The fruits are used as source of food. The immature fruit is rich in tannins and is used to prepare a traditional medicine to treat diarrhea and dysentery. The wood is hard and strong and is used to make household utensils such as pestles.
These trees grow in evergreen primary, secondary, and teak forests, often along rivers, up to 2,100m altitude. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.