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Dipterocarpus kerrii King.
by Suhaida Mustafa

Newsletter

Dipterocarpus kerrii King.

by Suhaida Mustafa

Dipterocarpus kerrii (Keruing gondol) occurs near coastal areas from lowland forests to hill forests at 400 m altitude. Gondol meaning bald describes the globose and shining calyx tube of the fruit. It is a large tree and is widely distributed in Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo (Sabah) and the Philippines.

Dipterocarpus kerrii has a large bole and is dark gray in colour. The outer bark is thin with irregular flakes. The leaf is usually ovate-elliptic with size of about 11 x 7 cm, has a wavy margin, is bluntly acuminate, cuneate at the base and 9-nerved. When the leaf still in fresh, it has pink stipules and is covered with silvery silky hairs on the inside. The fruit has a short stalk, is globose and about 3.5 cm across when ripen, with a wing size to about 14 x 3 cm, blunt with 3-5 nerves at the base.

This species is valued as a source of timber and wood-oil. The Orang Asli use the wood-oil for caulking boats, making torches and also in wood coating. In addition, it is used as an adhesive in perfumes and cosmetic products.

Dipterocarpus kerrii is considered Vulnerable (VU B2b(iii)+C(ii)) in Malaysia. This species is threatened by logging activities and loss of habitats. Furthermore, intensive tapping activities for the wood-oil cause much damage to the trees. Even though it is given a low threatened category in Peninsular Malaysia, regular monitoring from the authorities is still required and tapping activities must be controlled in order to protect this species.

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