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.