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The Star

Friday June 11, 2004


Giant Alocasia plants discovered

KUALA TERENGGANU : Giant Alocasia plants measuring more than 2.4m tall have been discovered on Gunung Mandi Angin in Hulu Dungun. 

Commonly known as Elephant Ears, they were spotted recently by some Forest Department officers, who informed the state Museum Board.

About 150 researchers and assistant researchers from several universities undertook a three-day scientific expedition to the mountain, which ended on Wednesday. 

A researcher beside a giant Alocasia plant. Photo courtesy of Terengganu Museum Board

Gunung Mandi Angin is also home to a giant Chengal tree, measuring 65m in height and with a 16.75m circumference, believed to be the biggest Chengal tree in the world. 

Expedition leader Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Mohamad of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) said the Alocasia plants could be the biggest in peninsula Malaysia. 

I have not seen plants which are bigger than this. In other places, they normally only grow to about 1m high, he said.

Dr Abdul Latiff said the rich soil in the mountain could be the reason for the Alocasia plants to grow so tall. 

The Alocasia species is native to swampy tropical areas of South-East Asia.  

The large leaves of these plants grow atop 1m to 3m-long stems and can reach a length of 0.6m to 0.9m.


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