Shorea singkawang or locally known as meranti sengkawang merah belongs to the Red Meranti Group of Dipterocarpaceae. This species can be found in Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. In Peninsular Malaysia, the habitat of this species include lowland dipterocarp forests and also damp soil near streams, often on well-drained, undulating land up to 400 m altitude. Germination of this species in FRIM began in 1927. The first fruit setting record for the cultivated tree in FRIM was in January 1939. In Sumatra, this species is one of the important sources of illipe nuts, which yields fat similar to cocoa butter, like the engkabang, Shorea macrophylla. This species is considered Critically Endangered by IUCN (2010). A fruiting tree can be seen along Jalan Jelutong, FRIM.
Text and pictures by Norsham Suhaina Yaakob.
Published on 3 November 2012. Weather for the week was rainy with thunderstorm, 24°C – 32°C.
The lower branch of Shorea singkawang at Jalan Jelutong is low enough for anyone to see the fruits up close
The irregularly fissured or scaly bark of Shorea singkawang
Edible fat comes from the fruit