Enjoying Nature at Koh Chang while Eating Fruit of Irvingia malayana
Irvingia malayana tree is also known as wild almond which is regarded as tropical evergreen tree species of the Irvingiaceae family. It commonly thrives in an undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forests up to 600 meters altitude and usually sighted on hillsides and ridges with clay to sandy soils. Aside from Thailand particularly in Koh Chang National Protected Rainforests areas, Irvingia Malaya trees can be found in North East India, Indonesia (particularly in Sumatra and Borneo) Indochina, Laos, Malay Peninsula and Myanmar.
Irvingia malayana or wild almond tree is distinguishable by its fruits calculated at 46 millimeters long with green-yellow drupes. Its seeds are valued as food and eaten roasted. As an emergent, evergreen or partly deciduous tree, it grows up the height between 40-50 meters tall and a diameter at breast height of 117 centimeters. It has a straight bowl trunk and has a buttressed, bark grey-brown, smooth or fissured bark when old. Its stipules grow up to 30 millimeters in length and have alternate leaves that are simple, glabrous and semi-veined with chordate leaf base. The flowers has calculated diameter of 6 millimeters with white-yellow panicles.
Though the timber derived from Irvingia malayana is not excellent for furniture or of low quality, it is nonetheless regarded as one of the preferred woods for charcoal. It is also used for heavy construction as scaffolding materials, knife handles and most often used as firewood by most rural folks. Its seeds aside from being edible, fat oils can be extracted from them and can be used for soap, wax and candles production. In the conservation status index, this tree species is classified as of low concern given the fact that its low quality timber is not popularly sought for commercial purposes, but on the downside, Irvingia malayana’s survival is always put to threat due to regular cutting for everyday household use for firewood or fuel.