Shorea hemsleyana: A critically endangered tree

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Shorea hemsleyana or locally known as meranti daun besar is a representative of the red meranti group of Dipterocarpaceae from the swamp forests. The tree is usually less than 2 m in girth but some may reach as large as 2.5 m. The leaf shape is elliptic-oblong to obovate-oblong, sometimes as large as 35 x 15 cm, rough with hairs which split at the ends, appearing like stars on the veins on the undersurface. Other than Peninsular Malaysia, this species can also be found in Thailand and Sumatra. The conservation status of this species is “critically endangered” with the current population in Peninsular Malaysia confined at two sites in Perak, Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Teknlologi Petronas with 142 trees. This tree can be seen at Jalan Balau FRIM, with its little flowers littering the grounds in late March 2013.

Text by Norsham S.Y., posted on 2 Mei 2013. The temperature for the week was 31° – 34°C.