Simpoh Malesia

All about learning Dillenia

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Usage of 'Simpoh' in Peninsular Malaysia

There are very minimum usage of Dillenia in Peninsular Malaysia. Simpoh timber are usually being treated with preservatives before being used in various medium-heavy construction. Simpoh timbers are suitable for posts, beams, joints, doors, windows, furniture and other decorative works (Kochummen 1972). Two main species that contributed as simpoh timber are D. reticulata and D. grandifolia. Besides being used in construction, a few simpoh species that have showy flower and attractive foliage are being used as ornamental plants and being planted along highways, housing areas and gardens. Those species are D. suffruticosa and D. indica. However, D. excelsa sometimes is also being planted as ornamental plants. Furthemore, fruits of Dillenia that are indehiscence in certain species are eaten in the form of curry or jelly (Hoogland 1951).

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What's Dillenia?

Dillenia or much known as 'simpoh' or 'chimpoh' by the locals has very large and attractive flowers with huge leaves that are toothed. Besides that, fallen leaves of 'simpoh' will leave horse-shoe scars on it's twig. The bark of the tree are usually red to pinkish red or brown-orangey though the dead outer bark may be greyish in colour (Ridley 1922). The name 'simpoh' that had been given by the locals is believed being obtained through the hissing sound made by the tree trunk when being slashed using 'parang'. Please take note that the sound can only be heard when one stuck his or her ear at the area that is being slashed. The hissing sound is obtained due to the process of air being sucked through the empty spaces in the wood when water is being sent from the trunk to the leaves.