Polyalthia stenopetala (Annonaceae) is a shrub or small slender tree up to 10 m tall. This is a lowland forest species, common throughout Peninsular Malaysia except Perlis and Pulau Pinang. The inner bark is usually brownish with pale streaks or wedges, with ginger-like smell. The flowers grow out of the main trunk, a term known as “cauliflory”, salmon pink with narrow linear petals hanging down. Fruits are glossy deep red with one seed, flattened and squarish which will turn black upon maturity. Polyalthia stenopetala is known locally as jambul cicit. This species can stand full sun with green mature foliage and prominent red young leaf flushes making it suitable for urban site planting. This amazing looking tree can be seen at Kepong Botanic Gardens, FRIM.
Text by Norsham S.Y., posted on 26 April 2013. The temperature for the week was 31° – 34°C.