Thursday, March 24, 2011

Species of the Month - Johannesteijsmannia, the Joey Palms

Johannesteijsmannia, the Joey Palms. 

Under the group of Fan Palms, or Daun Payung in Malay, Johannesteijsmannia is a genus of four species of palms found in tropical rain forests  of southern Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.   They are beautiful, huge fan palms with large, undivided, diamond-shaped leaves, and usually grow without a trunk – resembling the feathers of a huge shuttlecock. They require warm, shady, and moist rainforest conditions.

These palms are among the rarest in the world and global attention is focused on their conservation status because they are also among the most beautiful palms known.  Because of their beauty, they are among the most desirable palms for collectors, yet they are difficult to find in the nursery trade because they are so rare.

It is an extremely proud claim that Peninsular Malaysia is one of the only places on Earth with all four species of this incredibly beautiful genus occur naturally, and the southern region of Taman Negeri Selangor is home to 3 of them!

The four species of are:

Johannesteijsmannia lanceolata, or the Slender Joey

The "Slender Joey" is the rarest of the four species of Johannesteijsmannia. It is known only from an extremely limited habitat, one of which is in Taman Negeri Selangor.  

It is easily separated from the other species in the genus by its more narrow, pleated leaf that can reach to 3.5 metres tall and 30 cm wide.

Johannesteijsmannia magnifica , Silver Joey

The “Silver Joey” is a magnificent palm, and may be considered one of the most spectacular plants known. It is trunkless, with enormous spear shaped leaves that grow up to 3 metres long, (the first metre of which is petiole) and up to 2 metres wide.  It has also been recorded in the Park.

The underside is covered in fine white hairs which give it a silvery appearance. These leaves arch over and leave any viewer with an unforgettable sight.

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons  or the Joey Palm or Diamond Joey

J. altifrons is more widespread, found also in southern Thailand, Sumatra and Sarawak, but the other three species are known only in Peninsular Malaysia.   

The Diamond Joey is a medium sized, trunkless palm with large, simple, undivided leaves that can be up to 4-6metres in length, coming directly from an underground rootstock. These large, leathery, diamond-shaped leaves are pleated along their length, and have serrated edges.  This is the third species recorded in the Park.

Johannesteijsmannia perakensis also known as Joey on a Stick.

This is the only species of Joey to develop a trunk, and it gets to about 4metres high. The leaves are very similar to those of J. altifrons , but are more widely spread.  This species is very rarely seen in cultivation.   

Notice the man sitting under the palm - this gives you an idea of the magnificent size most of the Joey palms can achieve.

The genus of palm Johannesteijsmannia is truly beautiful and rare, and is a testament to the immense richness and uniqueness of species still to be found in our beloved Taman Negeri Selangor.  Yet, these wonders of our Park are under serious pressure from human activity.  

To quote one botanist from PACSOA, when viewing one of these palms:

“I felt very privileged to have seen these still living "dinosaurs" and the question arose, looking at these plants, is whether there will be any such wonder left for our next generations or will we soon have traded such a wonderful sight for new car tyres?” 

The Park’s fate lies in our hands.

Information and photos were extracted, in part, from:
The Project Towards the Establishment of the Selangor State Park, reports
The Palm & Cycad Society of Austrailia.  Please read more:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nuclear Malaysia - A Worry for Us All

There was an excellent article that ran in the Aliran in February 2011, raising a number of questions about Malaysia's mad rush into building 2 nuclear energy plants.  In light of the recent tragedy in Japan and the critical state of many of its nuclear plants, we felt it was very timely to share this sensible article with you all.

The article can also be found at  Nuclear Malaysia Feb 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Community Concerns Over Developments in the Park

Residents are growing concerned over the protected status of the Selangor State Park, due to the number of development pressures on the Park.  The past blog entry highlighted the community's concern about the KLORR.  This entry is highlighting the voice of another concerned resident, Is the Park a Protected Area? that appeared in the Star letters section.

It appears that a housing development has been built in a 'forest reserve'.

By looking at forest maps, if this area is indeed a 'forest reserve' as claimed in the advertisement, the forest reserve would be the Ampang Forest Reserve.  This forest reserve has already been gazetted as part of the Selangor State Park several years ago.

How did a housing development get approved in a 'forest reserve'?   Is this 'forest reserve' part of the Selangor State Park?  Are the authorities serious about protecting the Park? 

These are serious questions.  We are looking for the answers...

Monday, March 7, 2011

KLORR - Residents Kept in the Dark

Over 1,000 residents and NGOs raised our disagreement with the proposed alignment of the KL Outer Ring Road, in our comments on the MPAJ Draft Local Plans 2020.

According to the article in the NST , the plans for the highway are now with the Selangor State Planning Committee.

When will the residents and NGOs be allowed to see the highway plans?  Why are we always kept in the dark when it comes to major projects that affect our lives, our environment...and our taxes!  Please see the side tab on this website with more information on the impacts of the KLORR.

We want to see the highway plans BEFORE they are agreed and approved.  We want a say in the project! We want our voices HEARD!

If your resident group, community group, nature loving group is also concerned, please send TrEES and email.  We'd love to hear from you.