The state of Perak, in northern Malaysia, has identified five sites where very rare trees are located, and is acting to preserve those sites. The sites are Segari Forest Reserve, Gunung Bubu and Temengor Forest Reserve, and Taman Negeri Royal Belum (Royal Belum State Park).
Univeristi Kebangsaan Malaysia botanist Prof. Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff Mohamad said that balau putih, Shorea lumutensis, is found in Segari Forest Reserve and Sungai Pinang Forest Reserve in Lumut, and nowhere else in the world. Logging of these reserves would likely cause extinction of these species, said Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff.
Pokok sang, Johannesteijsmannia perakensis, is another rare tree in Perak, found only in Gunung Bubu near Kuala Kangsar, according to Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff. It is found occasionally in cultivation and is known as Johnny-on-a-stick in the horticulture trade. Local people, known as Orang Asli (original people) use the leaves of Pokok sang for roofing material.
In addition to its exceptional tree flora, Perak is home to four species of Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower.
Picture: Shorea curtisii along a river, Perak, Malaysia. Picture by Tom Kimmerer