Scientific name: Pterygota alata
Family name: Sterculiaceae
Kasah trees in Taman Tugu
The Kasah 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”).
The Kasah tree is a large, upright tree, which can grow up to 45m tall, and has a tall, columnar-to-oblong, shady crown with large buttresses on matured trees. The bark is light grey, the leaves are large, ovate-cordate in shape, with wavy margins. The texture of the leaf is smooth, and petioles are about 7-15cm long. The leaves are somewhat clustered towards the ends of the branches. The flowers are borne in small racemes. The flowers are pale orange to red and have no petals, but 5 sepals.
The fruit is a follicle. The pod is round, and splits along one side, releasing many seeds each with a long “wing” which are then scattered by wind.
The seed is edible but can cause drowsiness, it is sometimes used as a substitute for opium. The oil obtained from the seed is nutritious and can also be used for lighting. The white wood is light in weight, soft with little durability. It has a pretty, silver grain. It is a low quality timber and is used for making boxes and toys.
These trees enjoy a sunny location and thrive in rich, good draining soil. These trees are native to Northern Malaysia, Myanmar, and India.