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.

“Low-wa-say”

“Steer-cue-la-say” – swollen nodes

“A-gla-ya” – compound leaf.

Edible Soap berries aka Senduduk bulu

Edible Soap berries aka Senduduk bulu

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.

Young shoots are lighter in colour to prevent burning from too much UV

Young shoots are lighter in colour to prevent burning from too much UV

Botanist Khadijah also explained why the shoots of some trees are often in a different colour i.e. white, red, purple. Personally, I had always thought this was Mother Nature’s way of painting the canvas differently, but Khadijah explained that this was to prevent the young leaf from getting burnt as a result from absorbing too much UV.

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.

Chancing upon a seed which looked like a mini helicopter from the Dipterocarpus tree, Khadijah was ecstatic. She kept looking for the tree which she found later and was even more excited to find it flowering.

Dipterocarpus seed. Photo credit: Alicia Teoh

Dipterocarpus seed. Photo credit: Alicia Teoh

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.

Circular leaves of the Jelutong tree with the whitish bark

Circular leaves of the Jelutong tree with the whitish bark

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.

This marker is tied on a tree from the Nutmeg family.

This marker is tied on a tree from the Nutmeg family.

We made many exciting discoveries today including young Chestnut (Berangan) trees and that Alicia had tied the marker for ‘2’ on a tree from the Nutmeg family.

Hong_Kong_Orchid_tree_flower

Flag_of_Hong_Kong

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.

Setia Alam Trail - MNS Field Visit Dec 2014

Entering the Setia Alam Trail via entrance A.

Entering the Setia Alam Trail via entrance A.

A beautiful butterfly accompanying us today.

A beautiful butterfly accompanying us today.

Setia Alam Trail - MNS Field Visit Dec 2014

Mushrooms ‘blooming’ on a log

 

Tree hugger Bernard on a magnificent Ficus tree

Tree hugger Bernard on a magnificent Ficus tree

Trees with folding bark belongs to the family of Ixonanthacae

Trees with folding bark belongs to the family of Ixonanthacae

Non-edible fruits similar to Salak

Non-edible fruits similar to Salak

Yeow Mei Jyn

Little Jynx is Yeow Mei Jyn's alter persona whom loves travelling the world, cycling to explore new places and finding yummy eats in the smallest towns.

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