Simpoh Malesia

All about learning Dillenia

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Cucurbitaceae is the family of pumpkin and squashes. Lately, i'd been to Kota Bharu and Cameron Highland to do market survey on vegetables. One of the common family being eaten and used is Cucurbitaceae. Here are some of the photos of those pumpkins members for all to enjoy. For starters, i display two species from the genus of Momordica followed by some Cucurbita spp.

Name: Momordica charantia L.
Common name: Bitter gourd, peria
Uses: Being eaten as vegetable and is believed can help to lower the blood pressure and cure diabetic.
Note: Available in Pasar Siti Khatijah but not found in Cameron Highlands.

Name: Momordica subangulata Blume
Common name: Bitter gourd, peria katak, kambas
Uses: Being eaten as vegetable and is believed can help to lower the blood pressure and cure diabetic.
Note: Available in Cameron Highlands

Above is the photo of pumpkin's shoots that are being sold in Cameron and it can be considered as one of the delicacies to the villagers there. Below are a few photos of Cucurbita or pumpkin being sold in Pasar Siti Khatijah and Cameron.

Name: Cucurbita maxima Duchesne

Common name: Pumpkin, labu manis, labu merah

Uses: Being eaten as vegetables

Note: Found in Pasar Siti Khatijah

I found two types of pumpkin that are sold in Cameron and Kota Bharu which are uneatable. They are usually being used by the Chinese community in Malaysia for prayers. Notice that there are very obvious lobes that are extended from one type of the pumpkin sold in Cameron. That pumpkin is only available during Chinese New Year especially for the occasion of prayer to the "Sky God" at midnight of the eight day of Chinese New Year by Hokkien people.

Below is another type of pumpkin used for prayers by Chinese citizens in Malaysia.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bintang Hijau Expedition

My first expedition of Bintang Hijau in search of Dillenia proved to be quite unsuccessful. I only manage to record two species that are very common. They are D. indica and D. reticulata. Somehow, there are none that are flowering and fruiting. The photo on the left is D. indica taken at Lata Kekabu. Most of this species is found at the riverside. Both species are also sighted at Ulu Kenas and VJR Bubu. Somehow, there are also another species of Dillenia, Dillenia grandifolia that had been recorded at VJR Bubu from FRIM lists of record. I didn't manage to bump into this species due to limited of time. Overall, my expedition is quite exciting and i learn a lot from experties like Abang Din (Kamarudin Salleh), Cikgu Nasir, Dr. Nazre and many other foresters.

Luffa aegyptiaca

This is a photo of the pumpkin and squashes family, Cucurbitaceae. I had promised to post this photo to our Ethnobotany class members. This is Luffa aegyptiaca or also known as 'petola bantal' or smooth loofah. It is usually dried and use as sponge.

Dillenia excelsa in fruiting

Here is a photo of Dillenia excelsa var. pubescens in fruiting. It is located near UKM on the way to Bangi Lama. The tree of this variety is smaller in size and the fruits are in stellate form and white in colour. The seeds, blackish-brown are coated with red membrane. The leaves are coriaceous and the margin are undulate and toothed, rarely hairy.
Below is the close-up photo of the fruit.