Thursday, June 12, 2014

Happy with tall jungle trees

Tall trees at Botanic Island Four

 On the jungle floor, way down below the tall dipterocarpus trees I stumbled upon a mass of new seedlings emerging from the cover of dead leaves.  I am happy to see them  sprouting and living a new existence.  It was very easy to pull them out because the tap root of the seedlings have not really reached deep into the soil.  I collected some and would return later to collect more.  The park has a good collection of lowland dipterocarp forest trees.  Dipterocarp comes from the Greek word, "two-winged seed" - dis pteron karpos .  However some dipterocarp species have three, four or five wings seeds. The 'Meranti Tembaga' ( Shorea leprosula) which is one of the favoured species for timber has five wings.  Then there is another species popular among the natives of Sarawak because it is the source of the illipe nut called Shorea macrophylla (Engkabang - Iban). It is my intention to transplant these shorea species seedlings for posterity.  In the landscaping business, the well-known dipterocarps for urban tree planting are as follows: Shorea roxburghii - Meranti Temak Nipis (Malay); Hopea odorata - Merawan Siput Jantan - (Malay); Shorea sumatrana - Sengkawang.
Note the winged seeds providing interim food while the root system slowly develop to tap food from the jungle floor and soil.

Seedlings on jungle floor borne from four-winged seeds.
At the center is a dried specimen of the four-winged seed of the seedlings shown above.

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