(balau, red meranti, white meranti (Malaya), lauan (Philippines), selangan batu (Borneo); family Dipterocarpaceae)
A genus of trees, many of which are huge, whose fruits have 3 enlarged, wing-like sepals. Many species yield valuable timber, and some yield dammar. S. robusta (sal) is native to the seasonal moist forests of India, and is much planted as coppice. According to tradition, the Buddha died beneath one. There are 357 species, in several rather distinct groups. They occur in seasonal and evergreen tropical rain forest, and are native from Sri Lanka to southern China and the Moluccas. They are abundant and have many sympatric species in western Malesia.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.