Koompassia malaccensis is an endangered species that is a resident of lowland forests up to 800 m altitude and freshwater peat-swamp forests. It is native to Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo. This lofty emergent tree bears leathery pinnate leaves. Its leaflets vary between being egg-shaped to lance-shaped. Its straight cylindrical trunk can grow up to 60 m tall, with the branches occurring at the top of the tree. Its wood is highly sought after for timber which is often used for heavy construction and flooring as well as for firewood and charcoal.
This giant may also develop huge thick plank buttresses of up to 6 m in height when growing in swamp lands. Buttresses are smaller when growing on hillsides or drier areas.
When this tree begins to bloom, its crown becomes densely covered in white flowers. Its fruit is a flat and thin oblong pod about 3 to 4.5 cm wide by 9.5 to 15 cm long and contains a flat seed that is purplish black and shallowly wrinkled.
The flowers are insect pollinated. It is also the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the moth, Pleuroptya balteata.
The Latin name, Koompassia, is derived from the Malay name, Kempas, while malaccensis refers to Malacca, a locality within its natural distribution range.
This Heritage Kempas had a girth of 4.5 m when it was endorsed in 2020.