Pentaphylax euryoides
by Mr. Yao Tze Leong
Pentaphylax euryoides
by Mr. Yao Tze Leong

Pentaphylax euryoides a widely distributed species with a range extending from south east China to Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia and north and central Sumatra. In Peninsular Malaysia, it is strictly a montane species which can only be found above 900 meters elevation. It occurs throughout the Main Range and on most of the isolated mountains such as Gunung Jerai and Gunung Chabang Tiga. Interestingly, it is the sole member of the family Pentaphylacaceae.

Pentaphylax euryoides ranges in habit from a woody shrub to a tree of 10 m in height. Its crown is composed of shiny leaves with dark green veinlets, which contrast with the yellowish green undersides of the leaves. Its vivid bright red young leaves are a striking characteristic that cannot be missed, adding vibrant colour to the often misty, rocky mountain ridges. When flowering, it is a plant of great beauty! It flowers profusely, with little white flowers that open progressively from the base to the tip of the pseudo-spike. Although each little, five-petalled flower is just 2 mm across, its five-lobed star-shaped stigma surrounded by five bi-lobed anthers on the top of shouldered antenna present an amazing geometrical structure. The pseudo-spike later develops into leafy twigs, resulting in a charming mixture of white flowers and young red leaves. Its mature fruit, a dried dehiscing capsule, splits into five valves with a persistent central column. Each valve contains 1 to 2 winged seeds, which are soon released and blown away by wind.

Healthy populations of Pentaphylax euryoides have been observed on Gunung Ulu Kali on the Pahang-Selangor border, and on mountain top forests in the vicinity of Stong Forest Reserve in Kelantan. However, human activities on mountaintops, related to telecommunications and mountain resort construction certainly pose the greatest threat to its narrow, fragile upper montane niche.

QR Code
Scan QR code for mobile experience

Other articles

Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli, 1761

Ms. Nurfarhana Hizan Binti Hijas & Dr. Chen Pelf Nyok   •   31 Dec 2019   •   275 views

Chaperina fusca Mocquard 1892

Ms. Nur Aina Amira Binti Mahyudin, Mr. Kaviarasu Munian, Mr. Mohammad Shahfiz Azman, Ms. Noor Faradiana Binti Md Fauzi, Ms. Nor Hazwani Binti Ahmad Ruzman & Mrs. Nur Alwani Binti Zakaria   •   29 Nov 2019   •   259 views

Argyreia maingayi (C.B.Clarke) Hoogland

Mrs. Nadiah Idris   •   31 Oct 2019   •   300 views

Trachypithecus obscurus (Reid, 1837)

Ms. Nurfarhana Hizan Binti Hijas   •   30 Sep 2019   •   384 views

Caryota mitis Lour.

Mr. Tan Kok Kiat   •   30 Aug 2019   •   429 views
Get updates and an exclusive news when you sign up to our free newsletter.
Malaysia Biodiversity Information System (MyBIS)
Copyright © 2020, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS). All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER - The Malaysian Government, and Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS) shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused by the usage of any information obtained from this website. By entering this site, you acknowledge and agree that no portion of this site, including but not limited to names, logos, trademarks, patents, sound, graphics, charts, text, audio, video, information or images are either MyBIS property or the property permitted by third-party and shall not be used without prior written approval from the owner(s).
Best viewed using latest Mozila Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 with Resolution 1024 x 768px or above. Version 2.0 / 2016