Newsletter
Pteleocarpa lamponga (Miq.) Bakh ex K.Heyne
by Mrs. Rafidah Abdul Rahman
Newsletter
Pteleocarpa lamponga (Miq.) Bakh ex K.Heyne
by Mrs. Rafidah Abdul Rahman

The genus Pteleocarpa has had a varied systematic history. A genus with only one species, Pteleocarpa lamponga, has been placed within families Icacinaceae, Cardiopteridaceae and Boraginaceae (Ng, 1989; Dayang Awa, 1996). In 2011, the genus was placed in its own family, Pteleocarpaceae (Brummitt, 2011), but recent molecular investigations place it in the family Gelsemiaceae which was described in 2014 (Struwe et al., 2014), with P. lamponga as the only representative in Peninsular Malaysia.

Pteleocarpa lamponga (Miq.) K.Heyne was first described from Lampong, Sumatra. In Malay, it is known as singgah or tembusu tikus. It is a medium-sized tree that can reach up to 37 m tall and c. 50 cm diameter. It has a straight bole with smooth to shallowly fissured bark. The leaves are spirally arranged and wither yellow before being shed. The flowers are an attractive very bright yellow with many arranged in umbel form. The fruits of P. lamponga are pale green or yellowish, flat and winged, or samaras. The ripe salmon-pink winged fruits are widely dispersed by wind.

Pteleocarpa lamponga has been recorded from Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan). Currently, the species is found throughout Peninsular Malaysia except for Perlis and Perak. It grows in lowland and hill dipterocarp forest, to 600 m altitude, on forest margins, near streams or swampy habitats and on hillsides.

In the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), the species has been planted near the Chemistry Building (D7) and in Kepong Botanic Garden. Tembusu tikusis recommended as a suitable shade tree and for landscaping.

References

  1. Brummitt, R.K. (2011). Valid Publication of the family Pteleocarpaceae. Kew Bulletin 66 (1): pp. 1-3
  2. Dayang Awa, A.L. (1996). Boraginaceae. Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak , volume 2. pp. 93-105
  3. Ng, F.S.P (1989). Boraginaceae. Tree Flora of Malaya , volume 4. pp. 58-65
  4. Struwe, L., Soza, V.L., Manickam, S. & Olmstead, R.G. (2014). Gelsemiaceae (Gentianales) expanded to include the enigmatic Asian genus Pteleocarpa. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 175 (4): pp. 482-496
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