Sterculia parviflora: Vibrant coloured food source for wildlife
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Sterculia parviflora is a species of plant in the Sterculiaceae family. It is known as kelumpang burung, because birds love to eat its’s fruit. Sterculia is taken from “Sterculius” (the god of manure) of Roman mythology. This is referring to the unpleasant aroma of the flowers of this genus. Sterculia parviflora is claimed as one of the larger Sterculia trees to be found in this region. This tree can grow up to 7-20 m tall and girth reaching up to 180 cm with pinkish bark. It has a simple leave with oblong to elliptic oblong shape of 10-27 cm long and 5-15 cm wide. The brilliant orange or red colour of the large velvety scarlet seedpods with the large black seeds attracts wildlife, especially birds and other frugivorous species. Squirrels love to gnaw the fruit before the seed pod opens, to get at the black seeds within. Monkeys are said to drink the juice from the unopened pods. In FRIM, we can find this tree near the pond in front of FRIM’s mosque. This tree is planted for ornamental purpose and it can be found widely distributed in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is listed as a Least Concerned species in IUCN Red List. This species is a commonly scattered species of lowland forest and hill forest.

Picture by Othaman H and article by Nor Azlin, M.F, uploaded on 24 March 2014. The weekly weather was sunny and warm, 3°C to 36°C.