Scaphium macroptera 


Another member of the mast fruiting event. This is otherwise known as the Cheng tng tree. The fruit of the plant consists of the seed embedded in a brown gelatinous mass (which the the jelly like substance we get in the Cheng tng dessert) subtended by a boat shaped leaf which acts like a sail. When the fruit descents, the boat shaped leaf traps air and acts like a single blade propeller, whirling downwards in a swift dizzying spiral. This probably slows down the speed of descent and cushions the impact of the fall.

The brown gelatinous mass serves as nutrients for the germinating seedling, which wastes no time in growing its radicle and shoots. What emerges is a stout shoot, unfurling 2 broad leaves to capture sunlight.

Thanks to kind permission from Nparks, we managed to collect some for growing in the school. What will happen in the next will be a detailed documentation on the rate of growth of the seedlings, and of course lots of photography and the eventual tranplanting of the young shoots back to the forest.

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