Characteristics of Rasamala Trees (Altingia excelsa) in the Wild

Altingia excelsa
Rasamala (Altingia excelsa syn Liquidambar excelsa) is a tree species from the Altingiaceae family and is widely planted in Indonesia as a tree for greening and producing wood.

This tree has economic value because the wood is strong and produces a fragrant resin which is often processed into a mixture of air freshener.

In 2019 IUCN classified Altingia excelsa into the Least Concern (LC).

 
The recorded distributions of rasamala trees include Bhutan, China (Xizang and Yunnan), India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. The trees grow in primary forest at 500 to 1,800 m asl but are sometimes found at higher altitudes up to 2,200 m asl near trees of the Podocarpus and Quercus genera.

 

Characteristics of Rasamala Leaf

Altingia excelsa Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/parida97

The young leaves are red and can be eaten, eaten, or used as cough medicine.

Rasamala leaves that are old have finely serrated edges and are oval with a length ranging from 6-12 cm and a width of 2.5-5.5 cm. If the leaves are squeezed, they will emit a very distinctive odor.

 

Characteristics of Rasamala Flower

On the island of Java, Indonesia, the rasamala tree flowers almost all year round, especially from April to May.

 

Characteristics of Rasamala Fruit

Altingia excelsa Fruit
Source: naturewildlife.id

Rasamala fruit is brown like a capsule with a fruit size of about 1-2.5 cm and consists of 4 spaces. Each chamber in the fruit consists of 35 seeds.

 

Characteristics of Rasamala Tree

Altingia excelsa Tree
Source: facebook.com/krbali

Rasamala trees can be found all over Asia, from India to Indonesia. This tree can grow to a height of 40-60 meters and a diameter of up to 1-1.5 meters in mixed wet mountains and hill forests on well-drained volcanic soils.

Since ancient times, many rasamala trees have been cut down to take their strong wood, and because of this it has been prolonged, the population has decreased. Plus, many forests have been converted to tea and rice plantations.

The wood is classified as strong, durable, and can be used as material for bridges, railroad bearings, floors, and boats.

The bark is light brown to gray red and slightly peeling or thin cross-cracking.

 

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