Saturday, June 06, 2009

Xylocarpus rumphii at Sungei Buloh

I had an email conversation with John recently (about mangroves again, what else?). While the main topic was Bruguiera sexangula, Xylocarpus rumphii somehow also came into the picture, and it was then I know that only 1 young X. rumphii was recorded at Sungei Buloh.

I was a little surprised, as I remembered during my previously trips there, I thought I had seen a few trees that looked very much like X. rumphii. Since I am no mangrove expert, I thought I better check with John.

Xylocarpus rumphii
I spotted this tree last November and took the above photo during a trip with a few RMBR nature guides. While it wasn't flowering or fruiting, the shape of the leaves and the arrangement looked very much like X. rumphii. Unfortunately, I did not mark the location of this plant, and had not been able to find it during my subsequent trips.

Xylocarpus rumphii
It was only yesterday when Luan Keng spotted this tree again. The tree was about 4m tall or more.

Xylocarpus rumphii
It appeared that this tree may be deciduous, as most of the leaves turned yellow and the tree was rather bare. There were quite a few new shoots though.

Sent the above photos to John, who confirmed that it's indeed Xylocarpus rumphii, making it the second record and also the only mature tree at Sungei Buloh found so far.

Thought I have seen a few other plants that looked like X. rumphii during my various trips there. Guess I should go and check out Sungei Buloh again. Will be great if I can find a few more of these rare plants :)


Xylocarpus rumphii
John just confirmed that this other young tree I found with LK during a previous trip is also a Xylocarpus rumphii! So now we have at least 3 of them at Sungei Buloh! This sure is getting exciting! Thanks John for helping with the ID!

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