Lithocarpus sericobalanos is an evergreen tree that can grow from 20 - 50 metres tall. The bole can be from 30 - 100cm in diameter, with buttresses up to 180cm high, 200cm out and 10cm thick[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials.
Southeast Asia - Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak), Indonesia (Kalimantan)
Growing in sandy soils on hills and low ridges in primary mixed dipterocarp forest, also in secondary forest and heath forests; at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
In the tropics, the genus Lithocarpus is generally found in lowland to montane forests, usually below elevations of 2,000 metres occasionally to 3,000 metres. The genus usually grows in areas with year-round rainfall, disliking dry seasons.
Young plants usually grow sucessfully in the shade of woodland, but older trees like a more sunny position. Lithocarpus species are mainly found in well-drained soils, often growing on slopes; they tend to be tolerant of a range of soil textures and to prefer an acid to neutral pH.
The depressed ovoid to subglobose or discoid seed is 10 - 20cm long and 25 - 40mm wide with a thick, woody shell[
Although we have no specific information for this species, the seeds of all the species of Lithocarpus are more or less edible and most if not all of them will have been used for food in times of shortage, when better foods were not available.
The seed is usually cooked before eating, though it can also be eaten raw. It can be eaten whole, though it is more commonly dried, then ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread.
The main disadvantage of the seed is that it is often rich in tannins, making it bitter and astringent. These tannins can be largely removed by soaking the seeds in water then throwing the water away. The process should be repeated until the seed no longer tastes bitter.
The bark of most species is rich in tannins and can be used as a dye and preservative for ropes etc[
The sapwood is yellowish or brownish[
]. The timber is widely used by local people for house and bridge construction and also for making furniture and tool-handles[
The wood makes a good fuel and can be used to make charcoal[
Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool, but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees[
]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.