The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status 2010: protocol 2.3, needs updating

Agathis flavescens

Ridl. 1914

Common names

Malesian kauri (Silba 1986), Tahan agathis (Corner 1988, p.764).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: A. dammara (Lamb.) Rich et A. Rich subsp. flavescens (Ridl.) Whitmore 1980; A. celebica (Koord.) Warb. subsp. flavescens (Ridl.) Veldcamp et Whitmore 1980 (Farjon 1998). The type locality is "Malay Peninsula. Pahang; on the Padang of Gunong Tahan, 1530 m." (Ridley 1914).


Tree. Bark fragile, green or brown, with numerous pustules. Branchlets yellowish. Leaves yellow-green, elliptic-obovate, obtuse, 38-63 mm long, 12-25 mm wide, glaucous below, with a short petiole. Male cones cylindrical, on a peduncle to 15 mm long, 25 to 38 mm long, 13 mm wide, base subtended by 2 large bracts, surface of cone loose. Female cone globose, 63 mm long by 45 mm wide, purplish, maturing in 2 years; scales 32 mm long by 25 mm wide. Seeds ellipsoid, 13 mm long by 6 mm wide, wing to 12 mm long on one side (Silba 1986).

The original description by Ridley (1914) reads: "This is a small species for the genus, only attaining a height of 40 feet with a diameter of trunk of 1 foot at the base on the open rocky plain at the top of Gunong Tahan. In the shadier woods it attains a greater height and here the leaves take on a green colour; on the exposed plain the whole plant is a curious yellow colour. It is quite distinct from A. loranthifolia, Salisb. (A. rhomboidalis, Warb.), the only other species in the Malay Peninsula, in its very small male spikes which are only comparable to those of A. regia, Warb., of Batchian."

Distribution and Ecology

Malaysia: N Malaya, Gunung Tahan and G. Rabong, common on mountainsides at 900-2050 m, especially in the Upper Teku Valley (Silba 1986; Corner 1988, p.764).

This species is listed as "VU D2" (vulnerable, known from fewer than five localities) by the WCMC, which adds: "Less than 10,000 individuals are likely to exist in three separate populations, occurring in moist montane forest. Individuals frequently display yellowing leaves suggestive of poor nutrient conditions. The species can be found in protected forests under the Permanent Forest Estate."

The IUCN reports that this species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild due to a small population size in a restricted area that is vulnerable to chance events that could cause great harm.

Big tree

Commonly 12 m tall, 1 m in girth (Silba 1986).





The tree is a forest dominant on ridgetops in the Taman Negara National Park, which may be an excellent place to find it.



Ridley. 1914. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Page 332. Available:, accessed 2009.11.14.

See also

The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.

Last Modified 17/12/29 08:02