Setia Alam Community Trail Field Visit by Malaysian Nature Society, Tree for Life & Eco Warriors
Acanthaceae, Burseraceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae, – Almost like ABCD, I learnt the vocabulary of the forest.
Let me show you the scribbled notes on my smartphone as I tried to decipher and spell it out.
“Steer-cue-la-say” – swollen nodes
“A-gla-ya” – compound leaf.
We also found edible (blue)berries in this forest, commonly known as ‘Soap berries’ as Teck Wyn pointed out, also known as ‘Senduduk bulu’ in our local language.
Khadijah and Jean lead a ‘Tree for Life’ program where they aim to bring the forest into our cities by planting trees locally available in our forests. I thought this was a brilliant idea as this would enable the survival of trees which can be appreciated by the future generations as well.
Jean set out immediately deeper into the forest to have a closer look at the tree and to collect any seeds they could use to cultivate the tree for their replanting efforts.
Having live so near to Bukit Jelutong yet not knowing what the Jelutong tree looks like, I learnt to identify the tree today and it was closer to home than I expected. The tree is near the entrance of the MOU trail, easily identifiable by circular formation of its leaves. There was an eagle’s nest on the tree next to it too.
The Jelutong tree is grown commercially for timber while in the olden days, its latex was used as the base for chewing gum.
Outside my house and around most of Setia Alam, I’ve noticed butterfly shaped leaves, but I’ve never known the name of the tree until today. Sounding like ‘Bohemia‘, the tree is called Bauhinia, and is commonly known as ‘Hong Kong Orchid‘ which is the flower on the Hong Kong flag.
It’s a wonder how much I’ve learnt in just a walk through only half of the MOU trail which I’ve always just run by within minutes. Am very eager for another field visit, I can only imagine the learning opportunities within our own backyard.