Hopea helferi: Flowers of a decade
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Hopea helferi is a forest tree species belonging to family Dipterocarpaceae. Its natural habitat is moist forest and along streams and was recorded to be widely distributed throughout India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.  The species is listed in the IUCN List as critically endangered.  Locally known as giam lintah bukit, this medium-sized tree
can grow up to 20 to 37 m tall. Its wood is used for light and heavy construction including handicrafts.

As with most Dipterocarps, the species has irregular flowering and fruiting pattern. A tree planted in FRIM was observed to flower in 2002 and again this year, after a lapse of 11 years.  The tree started to flower in April to July and produces fruits from August to November. The young fruits are green in colour while the matured fruits have dark brown wings. The overall fruit size is in the range of 50 to 61 mm. The seeds are tiny, about 6 to 8 mm diameter and 6 to 11 mm length. The species can be found in the Dipterocarp arboretum at FRIM and near the junction of the road to the mosque.

Written by Nashatul Zaimah NA. Uploaded on 14 November 2013. The weekly weather was 24°C to 32 °C. Cloudy and rainy during the week.