Hopea polyalthioides Sym.
by Mrs. Suhaida Mustafa
Hopea polyalthioides Sym.
by Mrs. Suhaida Mustafa

The vernacular name for Hopea polyalthioides (Dipterocarpaceae), Giam rambai refers to drooping leaf-sprays. The leaves are large with an oblong shape (8 x 2.5 cm to 27 x 6 cm), arranged in distichous sprays on long, slender branches rather like some species of Myristicaceae (penarahan) and Anonaceae (mempisang). A leaf has well-spaced veins (about 12) with prominent reticulations on the lower surface.

Hopea polyalthioides is an under-storey tree, unlike many dipterocarps which are emergent trees above the canopy. This small-sized tree has a girth of not more than 30 cm. The 8 mm petiole is velvety when young. The leaf undersurface is velvety soft but later becomes glabrous as it ages. The flowers are pale pink and rather small (1 cm across) when expanded. The fruit is about 2 cm long, the nut is ovate with a sharp-pointed tip and embraced at the base by the sepals.

Hopea polyalthioides is endemic to Peninsular Malaysia. It is recorded in Johor from Panti Forest Reserve (FR), Gunung Arong FR, Jemaluang FR and Tenggaroh FR and in Senaling Inas, Negeri Sembilan. It inhabits lowland areas of dipterocarp forests.

Hopea polyalthioides produces a small pole and has no potential value in the timber industry. This species is threatened by land conversion activities. According to Malaysia Plant Red List (Chua et al, 2010), H. polyalthioides is categorized as Endangered (EN B2ab(iii)). Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in collaboration with Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM) is undertaking ex situ conservation through germplasm collection. Wildings and seedlings of Giam rambai are being maintained and monitored at the Kepong Botanic Gardens (KBG).


  1. Chua, L.S.L., Suhaida, M., Hamidah, M. & Saw, L.G. (2010). Malaysia Plant Red List: Peninsular Malaysian Dipterocarpaceae. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) & Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia, Malaysia. pp. 73, 146.
  2. Symington, C.F., Barlow, H.S., Ashton, P.S. & Appanah, S. (2004). Foresters' Manual of Dipterocarps. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and Malayan Nature Society, Malaysia. pp. 313-315, 442, 472-473, 478-479.
QR Code
Scan QR code for mobile experience

Other articles

Garcinia prainiana King. (Clusiaceae)

Mrs. Syazwani Bt. Azeman   •   30 Jun 2020   •   159 views

Naja sumatrana (Müller, 1890)

Ms. Noor Faradiana Binti Md Fauzi, Mr. Mohammad Shahfiz Azman, Mr. Kaviarasu Munian, Ms. Nor Hazwani Binti Ahmad Ruzman & Mrs. Nur Alwani Binti Zakaria   •   29 May 2020   •   362 views

Aglaia korthalsii Miq. (Meliaceae)

Mrs. Syazwani Bt. Azeman   •   30 Apr 2020   •   346 views

Johannesteijsmannia lanceolata J. Dransf.

Mr. Tan Kok Kiat   •   31 Mar 2020   •   356 views

Coelostegia montana Sidiyasa

Mrs. Nadiah Idris   •   28 Feb 2020   •   652 views
Today, there are less than 200 Malayan tigers left in our country.
#SaveOurMalayanTiger. Visit
Malaysia Biodiversity Information System (MyBIS)
Copyright © 2020, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA). All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER - The Malaysian Government, and Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) 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