ABOVE: This Barringtonia lanceolata  drift seed  collected on Pulau Maratua, E Kalimantan could easily lay claim to  being the world’s most beautiful drift seed.

B. lanceolata is endemic to Borneo and grows in the floodplain of  forested rivers throughout the island. It is an uncommon but regular  component of  the flotsam and jetsam on most beaches including Tanjung Aru beach, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Rhino dispersal: The shape and size of the seed plus the riverine habitat suggests that B. lanceolata  evolved to be rhino dispersed during the low sea levels of the  Pleistocene when the Sunda Basin was mainly land traversed by numerous large rivers. During periods of falling sea levels B. lanceolata would have been one of the first trees to colonize the  newly exposed river flood plains.  Both the seed morphology and the ecology almost exactly matches that of the two Belian species Eusideroxylon zwagerii and Potoxylon melagangai.

Eusideroylon zwageri compared with Barringtonia lanceolata.JPG
Barringtonia lanceolata (left) compared with Eusideroxylon zwageri  (right). Both seeds most likely evolved for dispersal by rhinos which were once abundant in Borneo. Both seeds  collected from the beach on Pulau Maratua, East Kalimantan.
Photographed by Anthea Phillipps in Kerengas forest next to the rest house at the Sapulot FMU in SW Sabah.

Barringtonia lanceolata 02 from Payens.jpg

Payens (1967) Barringtonia lanceolata text.jpg

Barringtonia lanceolata from Pinard (2002).jpg

Pinnard (2002) Barringtonia lanceolata.jpg