August 17, 2009
Entimau (Australian species)
This is Ishmael who brought me and his wife to see his sister's Australian Entimau which is fruiting for the first time. Mael is well versed in local botany as he often accompanies Forestry personnel in their work to document the details of trees and plants. His wife hails from Kanowit and is also excellent in recognising fruits and plants.
The leaves of the entimau tree are pretty and soft rather like the mengkudu leaves.
The fruits grow in bunches from the tree trunks. They do branch out like the durians.
Little children love to eat this fruit whenever they come across any especially when they accompany their parents to their padi farms. Hunters can satiate their hunger when they find the entimau trees. During the fruiting season the entimau is usually very productive as the whole tree trunck can be full of fruits.
Many Iban children who are now grownups and are living elsewhere in the world miss this sourish to sweet wild fruit of their childhood.
the fruits actually start growing from the ground to the top of the tree.
Entimau trees can be very huge. The tree in the photo is only about three years old having been brought over from Australia as a sapling not too long ago.
This is the first time the family will eat the fruits which are quite similar to Chinese gooseberries or kiwi fruit.
Perhaps one day this entimau will be crossed with other fruits to produce a commercial fruit that is as profitable as the kiwi fruit.
Entimau can also be found in the vast equatorial rainforest of Sarawak. The Lajak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary is named after this tree. The Ibans are known to name their places and even rivers and streams after plants usually.
So I hope this post would create some kind of nostalgia and memories for all my former students from SMK Sedaya Kanowit or SMK Limbang. And especially for those who were born in the ulu areas of Sarawak but are now working in cities like Kuala Lumpur and even London I hope these photos would help you to stop and think for a while about your childhood. Young capable Ibans now working in France and the United States who had eaten entimau when they were on their way to their primary school would miss their adventures. I can bet blue crabs and blue cheese and red juicy strawberries with clotted cream might never replace entimau in their hearts.