This giant Nyawai tree (Ficus variegata) was found by the research team of the Banjarbaru LHK Research and Development Center, South Kalimantan.
This Nyawai research team consisted of Junaidah, S.Hut, MSc, Reni Setyo Wahyuningtyas, assisted by Muhlisin and Abdul Qodir.
This large tree was found near Kahelaan village, Banjar Regency, South Kalimantan. This tree has a height of more than 40 meters and a diameter of more than 1.5 meters.
According to Juanaidah; “Our team explored West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and East Kalimantan for Ficus variegata. This research was intended to check variation in wild Nyawai. In our exploration we looked for mother trees that were bearing fruit, good appearance, free from pests and diseases. We collected seed from the fruit to plant in our seedling nursery. The saplings are later planted in the Riam Kiwa Special Purpose Forest Area (KHDTK). Currently, more than 8 hectares of nyawai have been planted in the Riam Kiwa Special Purpose Forest Area (KHDTK).
Our Nyawai trees grow fast. The average volume increment is up to 20 m3 / hectare / year at the age of 8 years.
Nyawai trees can produce wood for carpentry and pulp, animal food, and ingredients for traditional medicine.
From our field observations, nyawai were often found close to water and are thought to play an important role in water conservation.”
“According to the Banjar people, Ficus variegata has several names, including Nyawai, Loa Banang and Loa Linuh. Although Nyawai is usually found on the edge of secondary forest, under suitable conditions Nyawai can become an emergent in virgin forest.
LHK Banjarbaru Research and Development Center, has been conducting research on the Nyawai trees since 2015.
The Dayak people in the Meratus mountains in South Kalimantan protect this tree because it is used for nesting by Giant Honey Bees from which they collect the honey. Note the bamboo pegs in the trunk used to make a ladder to climb the tree when collecting honey.