Scientific name: Shorea foxworthyi
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Balau Bukit trees in Taman Tugu
The Balau Bukit 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”). 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 as this species is heavily logged for its ‘Red Balau’ timber.
The Balau Bukit tree is an emergent tree with a dense, irregularly hemispherical crown and can grow up to 60m tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 120cm in diameter with slender, spreading buttresses up to 3m . The leaves are elliptic, and coriaceous. The stipule is narrowly elliptic to falcate, subacute, caducous. The flower petals are cream, pale carmine at base, linear, shortly densely pubescent outside, and sparsely sericeous within. The panicle is terminal or axillary, short, rugose when dry, persistently evenly shortly golden-tawny pubescent, branchlets bearing to 3 flowers.
This wood is a source of the ‘Red Balau’ timber. The wood has a variety of uses including light construction, flooring, exterior joinery, musical instruments, boxes and crates.
These emergent trees are usually scattered, sometimes common, in mixed dipterocarp forests; growing in yellow clay and sandy clay soils on undulating land or hills; at elevations below 700m. These trees are native to Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand.