Characteristics of Ki Bima Tree (Nageia wallichiana) in the Wild

Nageia wallichiana
Ki bima or Kayu seribu (Nageia wallichiana) is a species of conifers in the family Podocarpaceae. The spread starts from Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

This tree is not well known outside Southeast Asia because it grows in primary forests. In Indonesia, this tree is known by the names Kayu bulu soma, Labu rimba, Lanang, Medang sepaling, Setebal, Sibulu somak, Kebal musang, Kayu seribu, and Ki bima. In the Philippines, it is called Mala almaciga, and in New Guinea, it is known as Algoma.

Ki bima trees grow in primary rain forests at altitudes above 500 m above sea level in almost all of the highlands of their distribution countries. The tree does not like to grow side by side with dominant trees but is often close to trees from the genera Cinnamomum, Sloanea, Castanopsis, Araucaria, Podocarpus, and the Fagaceae family.

 

Characteristics of Ki Bima Leaf

Nageia wallichiana Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/abhinmsunil

Leaves are quite variable in both juvenile and adult plants, 6-14 cm long and 2-5 cm wide, petioles 5-10 mm long, dark green on mature leaves, and bright green on young leaves.

At first glance, the leaves of ki bima are like Damar or Amboyna pine (Agathis sp.) leaves, but if you look closely, they are different in the young shoots. The young shoots of ki bima are tapered, sometimes more than two. The veins have very clear lines, and the leaves are paired.

 

Characteristics of Ki Bima Fruit

Nageia wallichiana Fruit
Source: inaturalist.org/divyacm

Pollen cones in clusters of up to at least 7 on stalks 2-10 mm long, mature cones 8-18 mm long, dark purple when ripe.

 

Characteristics of Ki Bima Tree

Nageia wallichiana Tree
Source: inaturalist.org/abhinmsunil

Ki bima grows as a medium-sized tree as high as 50-55 meters in an optimal place and has a trunk diameter of up to 60 cm. This tree often grows upright with a trunk without branches up to a height of 30 meters.

The wood is valued and is often used to make house construction, pulpits, and tool handles.

 

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