Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Calophyllum pulcherrimum Wall. ex Planch et Triana

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Malpighiales
Family:Calophyllaceae
Genus:Calophyllum
Species:C. pulcherrimum
Common Names:Bintangor Gasing
Status:Common

Etymology

The epithlet 'pulcherrimum' means most beautiful, refering to the leaves.

Description

 This is a medium-sized tree reaching 30 m in height with no buttresses. The bark is often bright yellow-brown with vertically elongated lenticels. When cut, it produces a clear honey-coloured sticky exudate. This species has pointy small apical bud about 2-3 mm that look glabrous (no hair). The mature tree has the smallest leaves among the local Calophyllum, about 5×2.5 cm. The leaf is often elliptic, with acute leaf tip. The distinctive characteristic is the sunken to flat midrib on the lower leaf surface, raised above. No flower petals and the fruits are ovoid-elliptic, about 2 cm long.

Read more about the Malpighiales order.
Read more about the Calophyllaceae family.

Distribution

Distributed from Southern Malaya to Borneo, excluding Java

Localities

Very widespread in the inland Nature Reserves

Locality Map

General Biology

It is common in mix dipterocarp forests up to 300 m elevation. It can also be found on sandy soil and in swamp forests. Flowers all year, but mostly in June to September. 

Human Uses

Used in construction, as fishing stakes and ship masts. Apparently the fruits are edible but sour.

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.

Stevens, P. F. 1980. A revision of the Old World species of Calophyllum (Guttiferae). Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 61, 117–699.

Whitmore, T.C. 1972. Tree Flora of Malaya. Vol. 2. Malayan Forest Records No. 26. Longman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 165 pp

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