This Heritage Tree is one of the many Hopea odorata found on this lawn. It is the biggest specimen in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. According to J. W. Anderson's Index of plants (Botanic Gardens, Singapore, 1912), Hopea odorata was already part of the Gardens’ inventory in the 1910s.
This species originated from north Malaya and Indochina. It is a tall tree, growing up to 25 m to 30 m or more in height.
In its natural habitat, it is normally found growing near rivers and streams, or sometimes in well-drained lowland forested areas.
It grows fairly fast even in an urban environment with a straight, tall bole and a nice shapely crown, which makes it a popular street tree in Singapore in recent years. The crown is dense and dark green, while the tree’s young fruits turn the crown pale green.
As described in the book ‘Wayside Trees of Malaya’, this tree was occasionally found in some villages on or near the coast of Kelantan and Trengganu. In Kuala Trengganu, it was abundant in kampongs on a few streets, and huts were even constructed round the boles of big specimens.