Monday, May 4, 2009

Bintulu in Yellow Flames

It has been a week since I've been back in Bintulu where the weather has been very dry, sunny and hot. I guess this distinct dry weather has stimulated the Yellow Flame trees here to flower gregariously. That was the scene when I went around the town today.

Lines of Yellow Flame ( Peltophorum pterocarpum) trees that were mainly planted about 20 years ago were in full flower. Yellow Flame trees are tall, some reaching 20 m high. They are ideal for roadsides because of their spreading crown which provide much shade and beauty . The Yellow Flame tree is native to Malaysia and that means Bintulu too. Sometimes locals call them ' Batai Laut'. They love the coastal areas and are somewhat deciduous in habit. New shoots begin to develop about a week after the leaves have fallen.
The inflorescence's are terminal on the new shoots and are panicles of large, bright yellow flowers.

They are fast growing but can also be grown as an instant tree if you wish to enjoy its shade and beauty sooner. These trees are better planted in big open spaces and I don't encourage it to be planted in residential premises for the main reason that its adventurous roots can choke up underground services. They are easily grown from seeds. I understand that the bark of the tree can be used to make dye by batik makers especially on the Indonesian island of Java.


nobu said...

It looks very very large tree.
I like that yellow flower.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

How they brighten up a place with their shower of yellow!
I have not been to Bintulu . Bought belachan from some Perkim members in Kuching and it was from Bintulu. Yummy!