Included here is the Malay Peninsula roughly south of the line between the Kedah River near Alor Setar on the west coast and Songkhlia on the east coast. The northern boundary therefore roughly crosses the border between Malaysia and Thailand.

Malayan Heath Forest

Characteristic of nutrient poor, shallow podzols, these forests are largely confined to the plateaux of Endau-Rompin and G. Panti with small patches on dry quartzite ridges such as G. Jerai. In Endau-Rompin they consist of small trees (6-8 m tall) with small crowns. Among the most abundant ones are Cotylelobium lanceolatum, Gluta aptera, Leptospermum flavescens and Tristania merguensis. The ground vegetation largely consists of the endemic or near endemic Styphelia malayana (Ericaceae) together with ferns such as Dipterus conjugata, Gleichenia microphylla and Matonia pectinata mixed with Pandanus monotheca or Gahnia tristis. In some of the moister, open areas rattan such as Calamus holhumii and the endemic Calamus insignis var. insignis (Arecaceae) become more conspicuous. Also because of the low nutrient status of these forests there is a wealth plant species specializing in insectivory, myrmecophtism (ant-plant associations) and parasitism. These include insectivors like Nepanthes ampullaria, N. gracilis, and N. rafflessiana; myrmecophytes like Hydnophytum formicarium and Lecanopteris sinuosa and hemiparasites like Dendrotrophe umbellata and Macrosolen retusus. The environment also seems to encourage the develpment of tuber-forming epiphytes like Pachycentria maingayi.


Ridley, H. N. 1967. The flora of the Malay Peninsula. Volumes 1-5. L. Reeve & Co Ltd. London.

Steenis, C. G. G. J. van. 1957. Outline of the vegetation types in Indonesia and some adjacent regions. Proceedings of the Pacific Scientific Congress, 8: 61-97.

Whitmore, T. C. 1978. The forests ecosystems of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei: description, functioning and research needs. In: Tropical forest ecosystems. Natural Resources Research Vol. XIV. UNESCO.

Wong, K. M., Saw, L. G. & Kochummen, K. M. 1987. A survey of the forests of the Endau-Rompin area, Peninsular Malaysia: principle forest types and floristic notes. Malayan Nature Journal, 41: 125-144.

Wyatt-Smith, J. 1959. Peat swamp forest in Malaya. Malayan Forester, 23: 5-32.