Benda or Bendo (Artocarpus elasticus) is a species of fruit tree which is still in the same genus as jackfruit (Artocarpus). The fruit is similar to embossed fruit or kulur, with protrusions that resemble long and short soft spines, and are slightly sticky.
In Malaysia, this tree is known as Tekalong or Terap, but it is different from the original terap (Artocarpus odoratissimus). Tree objects in various regions in Indonesia are called by various names such as Benda, Teureup (Sunda), Bendha (Java), Kalam (Mentawai), Torop (Karo), Bakil (Malay), Terap, Kapua, Kumut, Pekalong (Kalimantan).
The Dayak people who live around the Pesaguan River and Gerunggang River call tree objects Torap for young trees, and Humps for trees that are already bearing fruit.
The natural distribution of tree objects includes Burma, Siam, Malaya, to Palawan. In Indonesia, the tree grows throughout the archipelago. Object trees generally grow wild in lowland forests up to an altitude of 1,500 m above sea level. It is also often found growing wild in vacant land that is not maintained.
Characteristics of Object Leaves
Leaves are round or oval in shape, measuring 13-60 x 10-35 cm, long, blond or reddish-yellow hair, rounded base and tapered tip.
The leaves and fruit resemble the breadfruit tree (Artocarpus camansi).
Characteristics of Flower Objects
The flowers are in the hump, growing in the axils of the leaves, yellow when young and reddish brown when old.
Characteristics of Fruit Objects
The fruit is round or oval, yellow to brown, measuring 12 x 6 cm, densely covered with short spines. The fruit seeds are ellipsoid, measuring 10 x 6 mm, covered with white flesh.
Characteristics of the Object Tree
A small to medium sized object tree, rarely reaching 40 meters in height, straight trunk and rarely branching. Generally, object trees that grow in the wild measure 30 meters and a trunk diameter of up to 125 cm.
The bark is gray-brown, the inside of the stem is yellowish to pale brown, and has a yellowish-white sap.
BENEFITS OF OBJECT TREES:
Ripe fruit can be eaten fresh or processed into culinary delights. The seeds can be eaten after boiling or frying.
The young fruit can be used like jackfruit. However, fruit objects are more often eaten ripe.
The sap of the benda tree is often used as an adhesive to trap birds.
During the Japanese colonial era, Minangkabau people used fiber from tree trunks to make pants. This story is immortalized in the Minangkabau rhyme “ich ni san shi go rok, baju jute sarawa tarok”.
In Java, the sap and bark of the benda tree are used to make traditional medicines, and the seeds are extracted to make hair oil.
In Pattani, Thailand, the leaves of the object are used to treat intestinal worms by means of local use.
Classifications and Characteristics
|Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
|Plant Growth Form
|Tree (Big (>30m))
|45 m to 65 m
|Myanmar, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Java, Philippines and Lesser Sunda Islands
|Preferred Climate Zone
|Local Conservation Status
|Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))
Description and Ethnobotany
|Artocarpus elasticus is a tree that can grow up to 45 m tall, 90 cm trunk diameter, with buttresses up to 3 m tall. Bark is greyish brown, range from smooth to slightly scaly. Tree produces white sap when wounded.
|Leaves are spirally arranged, and simple with rough hairs on both upper and lower surfaces. The leaves are dimorphic, where young plant has deeply lobed leaves and adult tree has elliptical to oblong entire leaves, about 15 – 60 cm long and 10 – 35 cm wide. Lateral venation is prominent on the underside of the leaves and petiole is 4 – 10 cm long. Stipule (6 – 20 cm long) is densely covered with yellowish or reddish brown hairs and wraps almost entirely around the stem (amplexicaul), leaving circular stipule scar when dropped.
|Inflorescences (about 4 – 7.5 cm long) occurs solitary and axillary. Male and female flowers occurs on different individuals. Male flowers have 0.9 mm long stamens and oblong anthers while female flowers have simple or bifid styles which protrude out.
|Fruit is cylindrical (up to 12 cm long and 6 cm wide), with soft recurved spines. Fruit is cream yellow and ripen brownish with a rancid smell. Seeds are covered in white succulent flesh.
|Grows in full sun. Able to grow in a range of soil from sandy to clay loam. Propagation by seeds.
|The genus epithet Artocarpus comes from the Greek words ‘artos’, meaning bread and ‘karpos’, meaning fruit. The species epithet elasticus, in latin, meaning elastic, with reference to its latex.
|Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits, Edible Seeds)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The white fleshy fruiting perianth is edible. Seeds can also be eaten after roasting. )
Timber & Products ( The terap timber is also used mainly for light construction. The bark is used by the aborigines in Sarawak to make ropes and cloths. The latex is used for making bird glue for trapping. )
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree : There are 4 individuals of Artocarpus elasticus listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. All of which can be found in Fort Canning Park. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)
|General, Roadside Tree / Palm
Plant Care and Propagation
|Plant Growth Rate
|Mature Foliage Colour(s)
|Mature Foliage Texture(s)
|Simple / Unifoliate