Project Description

Perupok or scientifically known as Lepisanthes alata is a medium-sized shady tree that can grow up to 10 meters. This species originated from South East Asia and is often used as ornamental plants in garden landscapes. Perupok is widely distributed in Peninsular Malaysia, Java, Borneo and the Philippines. Perupok is also commonly known as pokok johor or Terengganu cherry. In Java, this tree is known as belimbing cina. Perupok is a very attractive tree with its young leaves or shoots of pale purple as well as purple flowers. The mature leaves of perupok are green with 8 to 12 leaflets, with inflorescences up to 55 cm long. Perupok is not very commonly cultivated thus it can be categorized as a rare fruit tree. The flowers and fruits do not have specific seasons but can occur throughout the year. The fruit is a globose berry, arranged closely and attractively in big bunches formed by clusters containing about 20 fruits per cluster, 2cm to 3cm diameter, deep red, shiny, with a pointed tip. The flesh of the fruit tastes sweet but a little tart with 1 to 3 seeds in a fruit. Although perupok tree bears edible fruits which are also offered for sale, it is more often planted for ornamental purposes. As the fruits of perupok are eaten by birds, it can be planted to attract birds to frequent our gardens. Lepisanthes alata belongs to the Sapindaceae family but its conservation status has not been reviewed. In FRIM, this tree can be found next to the Terengganu House, the Fruit Arboretum, Kepong Botanical Gardens and near Building D13 (Urban Forestry).

Young perupok fruits

Young perupok fruits

Luscious looking perupok fruits hang temptingly

Luscious looking perupok fruits hang temptingly

Perupok tree near FRIM’s Terengganu house can be seen fruiting heavily and attracting birds to feast

Perupok tree near FRIM’s Terengganu house can be seen fruiting heavily and attracting birds to feast

The pale purple shoots of perupok

The pale purple shoots of perupok