Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Shorea curtisii Dyer ex King, 1895

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Malvales
Family:Dipterocarpaceae
Genus:Shorea
Species:S. curtisii
Common Names:Seraya
Status:Vulnerable

Description

This is a large emergent tree with a straight, deeply fissured bole with short and stout buttresses. The leaves have ladder-like tertiary venation and are pale-waxy on the upper surface. This give the forest canopy a blue-green sheen. Tge flowers are small, about 1 cm across. Fruits are nuts with five wings—three conspicious ones, about 7×1 cm, and two shorter ones. 

Read more about the Malvales order.
Read more about the Dipterocarpaceae family.

Localities

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserves

General Biology

This is a hill Seraya, commonly found in along ridge tops. On inland mountain ranges, it is usually found at elevations between 300–800 m, but can occur at lower elevations in lowland hill dipterocarp forests that are near the coast. Such is the case in Singapore, whereby Shorea curtisii is the top most abundant dipterocarp in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (elevation about 164 m).

Life Cycle

Mass flowering appears to occur in about 9-year intervals. Flowers could be pollinated by thrips. Seeds of Shorea curtisii are poorly dispersed by wind, often falling near the mother tree. Foraging ants predate upon the germinating seeds. Shorea curtisii appears to grow more slowly than other common Shorea species. 

Human Uses

Commercially, the dark red meranti timber from Shorea curtisii is more sought after today than before, due to better logging techniques that allow hill forests to be more easily accessible. The timber is used for furniture, floooring, panelling etc.  

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Symington, C.F., 2004. Foresters' Manual of Dipterocarps. Revised by Ashton, P.S. & Appanah, S., Edited by Barlow, H.S. Caxton Press Ltd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  

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