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Shorea hemsleyana (King) King ex Foxw.

Family Name: Dipterocarpaceae
Synonyms: Balanocarpus hemsleyanus King, Pachychlamys hemsleyana (King) Ridl.
Common Name: Cengal Pasir Daun Besar, Meranti Daun Besar

Shorea hemsleyana , also known as Cengal Pasir Daun Besar is a tree, up to 30 m tall. It has dark red flowers which are pollinated by thrips. The fruits are winged with three long lobes and two shorter lobes.

Full Sun Moderate Water Suitable for Roadsides Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Broad / Mushroom / Hemispherical
Maximum Height 30 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 2.5 m


Native Distribution It is found in Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 30 m tall and 2.5 m girth, with deeply and persistently V-section fissured bark. The crown is large and hemispherical or dome-shaped with buttresses.
Foliage The leaves are leathery and oblong shaped (14 – 35 cm long and 6 – 15 cm wide). Each leaf has 14 – 17 pairs of lateral veins which are prominent on the underside, and the tertiary veins are ladderlike (scalariform). The leaf base is obtuse while the leaf tip slightly pointed (1 cm long). The twigs, bud, petiole and the outside of the stipule are densely covered with yellow-brown stiff hairs. The petiole is 0.14 – 0.2 cm long while the stipule is 1.6 cm long.
Flowers Inflorescence occur at the leaf axil as a panicle, up to 25 cm long, and comprised of small flowers. Each flower has dark red petals, 15 stamens in 3 unequal verticils, filaments compressed and tapering to the small subglobose anthers. Appendage becomes reflexed at anthesis. Ovary is hairy and ovoid with thread-like style.
Fruits The fruit is winged and dry. They are borne on stalks which are 1 mm long. Each fruit comprises of three long calyx lobes (up to 2.5 cm long and 1.8 cm wide), two shorter lobes (up to 2 cm long and 1.8 cm wide) and one oval-shaped nut (7 cm long and 3 cm wide). The nut is densely hairy and has a short style remnant at the tip.
Habitat It is found in shallow peat swamp forest and on leeched sandy soil of the dipterocarp forest, up to 400 m altitude.
Associated Fauna It is pollinated by thrips.
Taxonomy There are two 2 subspecies, namely Shorea hemsleyana subsp. hemsleyana and Shorea hemsleyana subsp. grandiflora. The former occurs in Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, while the latter is confined to Sarawak and West Kalimantan in Borneo.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds.
Etymology Latin Shorea, commemorating Sir John Shore (1793-1798), the Governor-General for the British East India Company; Latin hemsleyana, commemorates W. B. Hemsley (1843-1924), a British botanist and keeper of the Kew Herbarium.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( The wood is used as red meranti timber. The wood can be treated and used for light construction. In Borneo, the logs are transported by river as they float in water. )

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It can be grown in parks, gardens and streetscape.
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils, Poor Infertile Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Roadside Tree / Palm

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Wind)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate to Slow


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Branch Angle (wrt vertical) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Fissured
Stem Type & Modification Woody

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Individual Flower Shape Bowl-shaped
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Every Few Years

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)


References Ashton, P.S. (1982). Dipterocarpaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (ed.) Flora Malesiana, ser.1, vol. 9, part 2, pp. 237–552, 575–600. The Hague/Boston/London: Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers.
Soerianegara, I., and Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). 1993. Plant Resources of South-East Asia Volume 5  (1). Timber Trees: Major Commercial Timbers. Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers. 610 pages.

Image Repository



Master ID 30390
Species ID 4699
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 09 December 2022.