Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

Macaranga gigantea (Reichb.f. & Zoll.) Műll.Arg.

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Malpighiales
Family:Euphorbiaceae
Genus:Macaranga
Species:M. gigantea
Common Names:Giant Mahang
Status:Common

Description

Macaranga gigantea grows up to 15 m tall with spreading crown. The bole is brown and distinctly lenticellated. The shoots and underside of its huge leaves are finely velvety. The leaves are shallowly tri-lobed, glaucous beneath and deeply peltate. The twig is solid and thus does not house ants. Stipules are light green in colour, papery, huge, hairly and erect. The fruits are 4–5 by 6–8 mm wide and 2-shouldered.

Read more about the Malpighiales order.
Read more about the Euphorbiaceae family.

Distribution

Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo

Localities

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve

General Biology

Macaranga gigantea has broad ecological range from lowland coastal forests to swampy forests up til 1000 m. It is one of the earliest colonisers of degraded land but it is also found in large gaps in primary forests. This tree has been found to be dominant 20–30 years after shifting cultivation. 

Ecological Role

It produces huge quantities of seeds eaten that are eaten by small birds and squirrels. 

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Corner, E. J. H., 1988. Wayside trees of Malaya. Third Edition. Volumes 1–2. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 861 pp.

Whitmore, T. C. 1972. Tree flora of Malaya. Vol. 2. Malayan Forest Records No. 26. Longman, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 444 pp

Whitmore, T.C., Davies, S.J., Slik, J.W.F., van Welzen P.C. & Takeuchi, W. Malesian Euphorbiaceae descriptions. No. 66. Macaranga in Flora Malesiana.  (Editors) Coode M.J.E. & Hoffmann P. http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/euphorbs/specM/Macaranga.htm

Related Images

Habitats

Spot any errors? Have any questions? Something to contribute? Email us at dbsthh@nus.edu.sg!
Presented by

NUS      RMBR
Sponsored by

Care-for-Nature