Shorea megistocarpa Forw.
Shorea nitens Miq.
Vatica stipulosa Miq.
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and fruit
Photograph by: C.F.Symington; Notes on Malayan Dipterocarpaceae, 1933
Shorea lepidota is a tree that can grow up to 50 metres tall. The straight bole can be up to 2 metres in diameter with prominent buttresses up to 5 metres high[
The tree is a source of the commercial timber 'Light Red Meranti', and is commonly harvested from the wild for commercial use. The tree is also the source of a fat that is widely used locally for cooking, lighting, medicine etc.
The plant is classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia.
Undulating land in lowland dipterocarp forests at elevations up to 350 metres[
|Conservation Status||Critically Endangered
|Other Uses Rating||
A fat somewhat similar to Cacao butter (obtained from Theobroma spp.) is obtained from the seeds[
An edible fat obtained from the seed is easily absorbed by the skin. It can be used to treat skin problems and is often used as a carrier to apply other substances to the skin[
The seeds of many species in this genus, including this species, yield an oil that has an unusually high melting point and is solid at room temperature[
]. Average yields range from 45 - 70% according to species[
]. The fat is somewhat similar to Cacao butter (obtained from Theobroma spp.) and can be used in a variety of ways, often combined with cacao butter. In addition to it being edible, it has medicinal uses and can be used in making soap, candles, polishes and cosmetics[
The wood from this tree is a commercial source of 'light red meranti'[
]. We do not have a specific description for this species, but the general description of light red meranti is as follows:-
The heartwood is light red to pink or pink-brown, with white resin streaks; it is clearly demarcated from the 5 - 8cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain interlocked with a ribbon-like aspect; the surface is lustrous. The wood is light in weight, soft, moderately durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, somewhat resistant to fungi and susceptible to termites. The wood seasons well with a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is stable to moderately stable in service. The wood works well with normal tools, though the tools need to be kept sharp because it has a tendency towards woolliness; it generally finishes fairly well, though filling is recommended; screwing and nailing are good; gluing is correct. The wood is used for several purposes including interior and exterior panelling and joinery, light carpentry, boxes and crates, veneer etc[
We have no specific information for this species - the information below is a general guide for the genus.
Seed - best sown as soon as possible. It does not require pre-treatment, but it is recommended to soak the seed for 12 hours prior to sowing[
]. The seeds are sown in seedbeds, where they are covered with a mixture of sand and soil (1:1) or with a thin layer of sawdust[
]. Germination of fresh seeds is usually good and rapid. About two weeks after germination, when the seedlings are 5 - 6cm tall, they are potted up into individual containers about 15 x 23cm with good drainage holes at their base[
]. It is normally recommended to use a mixture of forest soil and sand (at a ratio of 3:1) as the potting medium in order to introduce the appropriate mycorrhiza to the roots. The seedlings are placed in 50 - 60% sunlight and watered twice daily[
Seedlings can be planted out when 30 - 40cm tall - harden the seedlings off in full sunlight for one month prior to planting[
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