Dipterocarpus zeylanicus

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Dipterocarpus zeylanicus
Dipterocarpus zeylanicus.JPG
Dipterocarpus zeylanicus in Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, Sri Lanka
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Dipterocarpaceae
Genus: Dipterocarpus
Species: D. zeylanicus
Binomial name
Dipterocarpus zeylanicus
Thwaites

Dipterocarpus zeylanicus, commonly known as හොර - Hora in Sinhalese and සරල - Sarala or කිරිපලු - Kiripalu in Sanskrit, is a species of Dipterocarpus that is endemic to Sri Lanka. It is a large tree that grows up to 40 - 45 m tall and 4 - 6 m in circumference. The bark is light pinkish brown or light yellowish brown. Leaves are big and oval, 5 to 8 inches long. The sharp-edged leaves are covered with silver hairy. Flowers bloom in April and seeds have two wings to spread from wind. The bark contains considerable amounts of gray caller oleo resin. D. zeylanicus can be found in moist low country like Ratnapura, Kaluthara, Galle and Mathara districts and also in the Sinharaja rain forest. The tallest (nearly 60m) trees of Hora in Sri Lanka are found in Udakiruwa village in Lunugala and under greatest threat of legal/illegal felling.

It is used as a strong and hard wood and a weight of 54 lbs per cubic foot. The heartwood is light pinkish to dark reddish brown. After a preservative treatment, it is used for railway sleepers, rafters, electric posts, beams, joists, heavy types of carpentry work, and eminently suitable for under water work.

A forest plantation of Dipterocarpus zelanicus is found in Handapangoda (about 50km away from Colombo along the Colombo-Ingiriya main Road). It has been established by the Forest Department of Sri Lanka and has an extent of nearly 20ha.

In Theravada Buddhism, plant is said to have used as the tree for achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi by thirteenth Lord Buddha called "Padumuththara - පදුමුත්තර".

References[edit]

  • "Sundara Sinharajaya" - Gamini Kumara Withana
  • Wood & it uses - Forest department of Sri Lanka 1962.