If the angsana were famed for its carpet of yellow, a flowering jelutong Dyera costulata offers a carpet of white. The ground underneath the jelutong seemed to be blanketed by snow from the small white fragrant flowers littering the ground, giving a surreal winter look to the scene. The fallen flowers will not last long on the forest floor and therefore are less often seen. In Malaysia most trees flower in August to October but in FRIM, it is flowering now. Flowers are small (about 2 mm) and are nocturnal, opening between 5–7pm and fall off the next morning at about 5–7am. Flowering lasts for about 10 days before the new shoots start growing. Young fruits are detected after 2 to 3 months.
Lucky nature photographers and nature lovers may have had the opportunity to witness this fleeting natural wonder when they walked along FRIM’s Jalan Jelutong earlier this week. The pristine white `snow’ has now turned golden brown.
(Please also see Jelutong: The local latex tree, Colours of FRIM http://www.frim.gov.my/?page_id=7063)
Written by Norhayati N. Uploaded on 12 June 2013. The weekly weather was 25° to 34°C.