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Shorea bentongensis Foxw.

Family Name: Dipterocarpaceae
Synonyms: Shorea pahangensis Foxw.
Common Name: Meranti Mengkai, Meranti Sega, Bok

Shorea bentongensis, also known as Meranti Mengkai, is a tree endemic to Peninsular Malaysia. Growing up to 50 m tall, it has winged fruit that are dispersed by wind. It produces white meranti timber that is prized regionally for construction and plywood.

Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water 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 50 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 2.5 m


Native Distribution Endemic to Peninsular Malaysia (Selangor, Pahang, Johor).
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree, up to 50 m tall and 2.5 m girth, with buttresses.
Foliage Leaves are leathery, broadly egg-shaped (7 – 15 cm long and 4 – 8 cm wide) with the leaf margin slightly curled downwards (subrevolute). Each leaf has 13 – 16 pairs of lateral veins. The midrib is depressed on the upper surface and the lateral veins are prominent on the underside. Leaf tip is prominent and slender (1.5 cm long) while the leaf base is slightly heart shaped to broadly wedged shaped. Stipule is broadly elliptic (12 mm long and 7 mm wide), falls off early and leaving behind a stipular scar. The petiole is short and stout (8 – 13 mm long). Both the stipules and petiole, along with the young twigs and leaf buds, are covered with short beige to brown hairs.
Flowers Flowers occur in a cluster as a panicle inflorescence at the terminal or axillary position. Inflorescence is single-branched, reaching up to 6 cm long. Flower is pale yellow, with 15 stamens with oblong to strap-shaped anthers. The appendages are very slender and about thrice the length of the anthers. The ovary is oval shaped with a long tapering style.
Fruits The fruit is winged and dry. They are borne on stalks which are 3 mm long. Each fruit comprises of three longer calyx lobes (7.5 cm long and 0.8 cm wide), two shorter lobes (1.2 cm long and 0.2 mm wide) and one oval-shaped nut (2 cm long and 2.5 cm wide) with a long linear style remnant at the tip (0.4cm long).
Habitat It is found in evergreen to semi-evergreen lowland forests.
Similar It closely resembles Shorea hypochra and Shorea roxburghii. S. bentongensis is an evergreen tree with 13 – 16 pairs of lateral veins, midrib that is depressed on the upper surface, short petiole (0.8 – 1.3 cm long) and fruit calyx lobes about twice the length of the nut. On the other hand, S. hypochra has at least 15 pairs of lateral veins, longer petiole (at least 2 cm long) and fruit calyx lobes at least thrice as long as the nut. While S. roxburghii is deciduous or semi-deciduous and has a flattened midrib.
Associated Fauna Flowers are pollinated by insects.
Taxonomy It is first collected in Bentong district of Pahang in 1919 and described by Foxworthy in 1932.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed. Seeds rapidly loses their viability and freshly collected seeds are best sown quickly for high germination rate. Seedlings require shaded condition until they reach a height of about 1.5 m. The young trees show a tendency to form multiple leader when exposed to full sun. Beetles of the family Scolytidae can cause damage to fruits.
Etymology Latin Shorea, commemorating Sir John Shore (1793-1798), the Governor-General for the British East India Company; Latin bentongensis, refers to Bentong district in Pahang, Malaysia, one of the places where it occurs naturally.
Ethnobotanical Uses Timber & Products ( It produces white meranti timber, a lightweight hardwood. The logs float and are often transported by river. The wood is treated and used for a wide variety of purposes such as furniture making, door and window frames, rafters and joists. It is also prized as a plywood and veneer timber. The wood pulp can also be used to make paper. The high silica content present in the timber makes it difficult to saw and blunts the cutting tools easily. )

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Propagation Method Seed
Propagule Establishment Remarks Seedlings require shaded condition until they reach a height of about 1.5 m. The young trees show a tendency to form multiple leader when exposed to full sun.
Propagation Method Remarks It can be propagated by seed. Seeds rapidly loses their viability and freshly collected seeds are best sown quickly for high germination rate.


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) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cordate, Cuneate

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Fissured
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Saucer-shaped
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Every Few Years
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Leathery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Nut / Nutlet
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)



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.

Symington, C.F. (1935). Notes on Malayan Dipterocarpaceae III. Gardens’ Bulletin Straits Settlements 8 (4), Pg 265-292. 


Image Repository



Master ID 30397
Species ID 4706
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: 16 November 2021.