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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Biodiversity and Conservation at KLCC Park


Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is a major tourist attraction in Malaysia. The famous Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC are both located here in its vicinity. Petronas Twin Towers was the world's tallest building from 1998-2004. It was featured in the 1999 Holywood Blockbuster movie Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones. It was also the target for French “Spiderman” Robert Alain Philippe to scale their height of which he was fined RM 2,000 for trespass in September 2009.

Although I have been to KLCC (KL Convention Centre) and Suria KLCC many times, especially during SALE time, I have only discovered KLCC Park late last year. When I visited Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, I remember lamenting how I wished our country has a beautiful park. Now, I realised how ignorant I had been in the past, as all this while we do have one. It was just that I didn't know.


KLCC Park is a beautiful landscaped garden designed by reknown Brazilian landscape architect, the late Mr Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994). It is reputed to be his last masterpiece. Roberto Burle Marx was a very talented master of gardens who wore many hats. He was painter, print maker, ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician. He is famed for imparting a sense of timelessness and perfection in his works.

A trip to KLCC Park begins with a walk down this 43 metre long elevated bridge (above). It is along this bridge that visitors get to enjoy some of the most splendid views of the magnificient Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC. This is also the most popular spot among tourists for photo shoots.

KLCC Park is spread over 50 acres (20 hectares) of land. There is also a 1.3 km jogging track laid with EPDM around the park.


When the late Roberto Burle Marx designed the park, his intention was to "leave the world a little more sensitive and a little more educated to the importance of nature".

“Biodiversity and Conservation at KLCC Park”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on August 27th, 2010.



In the design and built-up of KLCC Park, key consideration was given to environmental factors such as conservation and biodiversity.

When the Selangor Turf Club was relocated to Sg Besi in the early 1990s, a total of about 23 of the mature and rare trees were saved and transplanted on the park. When KLCC Park was launched in 1998, there were about 1,900 indigeneous trees and 66 species of palms which had been carefully selected to encourage biodiversity and provide a haven for birds and local fauna.


Scientific name: Ficus nitida
Family: Moraceae
Distribution: Southeast Asia and India

This is the Indian Laurel Tree whose habitat is found in regions with warm moist conditions and plenty of light. The signage read as follows:
  • It is a small tree with a dense crown, erect branches and arial roots
  • It buttresses in its natural habitat
  • Fruits are small, produced in pairs from the axils of the leaves
  • Flowers are found inside the fruit
  • The young leaves are yellowish green and smooth
  • It is commonly used as an ornamental tree for street planting, as a hedge, shaped into topiary of various forms and as an indoor potted plant.


Scientific name: Ficus elastica
Family: Moraceae
Distribution: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India

Common name: Bunuh Seteruh, Nyatu, Indian Rubber Tree

  • It thrives in poor soil, epiphytes in nature, often on branches of other trees
  • It belongs to the 'strangling trees' group thriving on host tree
  • A largew spreading tree that grows up to 15m with long drooping branches and aerial roots developing from trunk and main branches
  • Fruits are smal and yellowish green
  • Flowers inside the fruits
  • It was a source of rubber before the era of Hevea braziliensis, the present rubber trees
  • The young leaves were eaten as salads in Indonesia
  • It is commonly used as an indoor plant

Scientific name: Dillenia excelsea
Family: Dilleniaceae
Distribution: Malaysia, Indonesia

Common name: Simpoh Ungu, Purple Simpuh
  • It's habitat is the lowland forest
  • A medium sized tree that grows up to 25m
  • The leaves are glossy green and margin slightly serrated
  • Flower buds are rose red, opening to bright yellow with purple stamens and pinkish style
  • The flower faces upwards
  • Fruits are waxy white and later split open with red seeds.


Scientific name: Cyrtostachys renda
Family: Palmae / Arecoideae
Distribution: Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands

Common name: Lipstick Palm, Pinang Raja, Sealing Wax Palm, Red Palm
  • It's habitat is the tropical peat swamp forest and river estuaries
  • It is an attractive clustered palm with slender stems that grows up to 10m with a scarlet crown shaft and leaf stalks
  • The flowers are small and green
  • The fruits are small, egg-shaped, green ripening to black
  • It is widely used for landscaping in parks, it is also a good container plant
  • The aborigines made blowpipe darts from the outer wood of the stem
  • Leaves of the palm were used together with other plants to ward-off earth demons when opening a new land clearing



The fruits of the indigeneous trees attract local and migratory birds. Coupled with a conducive green environment, it is hoped that this place will become an important link to the bird wildlife corridors of the region.

The following is a list of trees with proper labels at KLCC Park:
  1. Cassia Trees

  2. Purple Simpuh Tree (Dillenia excelsa)

  3. Indian Laurel Tree (Ficus nitida

  4. Butter Fruit Tree / Buah Salat / Buah Mentega (Diospyros blancoi)

  5. Elephant's Apple / Simpoh India Tree (Dillenia indica)

  6. Camphor / Kapur Tree (Dryobalanops aromatica)

  7. Rambutan Fruit Tree (Nephelium lappaceum) aka Tico Berry

  8. Indian Rubber Tree / Bunuh Seteruh / Nyatu (Ficus elastica)

  9. Orange Champaca / Chempaka Merah Tree (Michelia champaca)

  10. Ylang-Ylang / Kenaga Tree (Canaga odorata)

  11. Gebang / Ibas / Buri Palm (Corypha utan)

  12. Red Palm / Lipstick Palm / Sealing Wax Palm / Pinang Raja (Cyrtostachys renda)

  13. Jenaris / Tulang Daing Tree (Milletia atopurpurea)

  14. Mempari Tree (Pongamia pinnata)

* Click on the links to visit my post about this tree.


Walking around the park at certain areas, I saw different types of birds feeding on some fruits high up in the trees. Some are black or brown and some are quite colourful. I saw sunbirds, magpies, pigeons, sparrows, mynas and starlings. Some of the more colourful ones, I don't know their names. How I wish I had a DSLR camera to capture these beautiful birds.

I also notice that bald-headed mynas are getting more and more popular around cities here. Do you know what causes this phenomenon? I mean, do they get bald as a result of fighting among themselves or due to the polluted environment?


This view is taken from the Children's Pool area. This pair of dolphins and a whale sculpture is one of the ornamental water features of Lake Symphony which is programmed to feature water fountain displays following a Symphony Overture sequence at regular intervals.

The Lake Symphony fountains are scheduled to be on from 12 noon to 2:00pm and 6.00pm to 11.00pm on weekdays and from 10.00am till midnight on weekends and public holidays.


The park is equiped with various amenities such as shelters, benches, rest areas, drinking fountains and public toilets at convenient locations. There is also a Children's Playground next to the Children's Pool.

The Children's Pool opening hours are as follows:
Tuesday  to Fridays 10:00am to 7:30pm
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays 10:00am to 9:30pm
It is closed for maintenance on Mondays if it is not a public or school holidays.

During school holidays, the pool is opened throughout the week.

You can find beautiful yellow cassia trees at the end of the elevated bridge and also at the children's pool.

The Children's Playground has been laid with EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Deine Modified) Rubber, a child-safe material. Hence, eating, drinking and smoking are strictly prohibited here.

This is a patch of Arachis pintoi which is a vigorous creeper with bright yellow flowers that bloom in the morning. This species is a popular ornamental ground cover for gardens here. In Malay, it is called 'pokok kacang kuning'.



Finally, I end my post here with another view of the Petronas Twin Towers in the background behind the Yellow Cassia trees of KLCC Park.

I would like to dedicate this post to Sihame from Belgium who visited Malaysia early this year. She wrote to me asking about the beautiful Lipstick Palms (Cyrtostachys renda) of KLCC Park.

Sihame, WELCOME TO MALAYSIA!    I hope you will visit my country again.
Welkom ! (Dutch), Bienvenu ! (French), Willkomen ! (German)


This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday, the link is here.
For Today's Flowers, the link is here.
For My World Tuesday, the link is here.

32 comments:

  1. Stunning! Everything is stunning - the architecture, trees, and your photographs too, Autumn Belle!The last two pictures are especially nice!

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  2. Too much green for my taste, but it is really beautiful, especially with the twin towers in the background.

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  3. Dear Autumn Belle, You are indeed fortunate to have such a wonderful green space and right at the heart of the city. I think that the mission statement you give of the architect was more than fulfilled.

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  4. Thank you for the beautiful tour, Autumn Belle ... the trees, unique to me, and architecture, amazing!

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  5. I had to smile when I saw the title of this post contrasted with those incredible towers. But nature will have to contend with man's accomplishments, and it sounds like Malaysia is making an effort to do so. Great post.

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  6. Very informative post n great photos too! Brings back good old memories when I had my evening walks on the track..

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  7. What a great post! Burle Marx is probably the most important tropical landscape architect to ever live, but then again the profession isn't really that old.
    The birds nest ferns in the banyan are to die for!

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  8. I have noticed many mynas around my area. Basically those are actually juvenile haven't got their growth of feathers on their head yet.

    I have been to this park a few times, never really appeal to me as they look very uniform and common. There is no difference what you find here and along the streetside anywhere around KL region for the matter.

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  9. Hi, Tatyana, Aaron, Edith, Joey, Babara, P3Chandan, Stevie, Rainforest Gardener, James. Thank you for your comments and 'walking along' with me at KLCC Park.

    Babara, you've got a point here. There is a lot of pain when a portion of the natural rainforest need to be relocated to make way for progress. The least they can do is to preserve whatever that can be salvaged.

    James, I guess Mr Roberto will be very happy to read your views. I think his aim is to incorporate our own natural herritage into the new futuristic KLCC garden. That's way the indigeneous trees are preserved. Even the Kapur, Kanaga, Banyan and Champaca are ancient trees and so very Asian. I'm so glad they didn't fill the park with pretty annuals like marigolds, tulips, cosmos or coreopsis which are non native plants here and cost a lot to maintain. Look at what's happening to some parts of Putrajaya.

    I never appreciated this park until I went there for a long and slow walk to bask in the natural environment, sit on the grass, look up into the trees, read the plant labels and observe wildlife actively going on about their daily routines. There is history explained in the plant labels. Now I'm begining to look at this place from a different perspective. I used to go KLCC for shopping and I used to view KLCC park as 'just another tourist park with a jogging track'.

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  10. Great post. Very informative. Love the place to much. Wish to visit there someday if given a chance. Great photos.

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  11. Great photos and composition. Would love to visit.

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  12. You've got good eyes and a good heart. Only one who can see beauty can express it, in words eloquently and in pictures artistically. Love every details of your post! And I love my country.. Merdeka!

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  13. The bald gembala kerbau is not common years ago, and definitely not common in Putrajaya. Pollution?.. huh. ~bangchik

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  14. Thanks for showing us very different trees than we would see here. Wonderful.

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  15. Hi Autumn Belle. What a wonderful spot to visit. I love all of the different and interesting trees. That bird has me stumped though. It has the strangest head. It looks like it was from a different bird. LOL!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  16. wow, what a futuristic looking city - those twin towers are something else.

    I also love that big old ficus. Looks wise, doesn't it?

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  17. Thank you so much Autumn Belle!
    I really enjoyed reading the blog, now I can learn a lot more about the beautifull flora in malaysia. I really appreciate de hard work, If you ever visit Belguim, please feel free to contact me, we to have beautifull botanic gardens. :)

    Many greets

    Sihame from belguim

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  18. we have yet to visit that famous towers and have our little side trip there too

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  19. this is a really beautifu post Autumnbelle and you have put so much heart and work into it...

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  20. Beautiful photographs! Lovely park and awesome interesting architecture of buildings. I love Palm trees and everything green too. Have a great weekend! :)

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  21. How lovely to have such a beautiful green space within the city. Looking at the pictures of the Twin Towers, I'd never have thought about natural spaces but rather a continuity of steel and concrete.

    Beautiful shots of the trees and I love the last shot of the Twin Towers through the cassia.

    Happy weekend!:)

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  22. So beautiful! The next time i go to KLCC, i will make sure to visit this garden!

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  23. What a lovely series of photographs and a very interesting post to read. Thank you so much, I enjoyed my visit here today.
    An English Girl Rambles

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  24. I don't think I have ever seen the Petronas towers from that angle. Man-made creations don't even compare to the beauty of the trees though. I want to visit there but I don't see that happening soon so I will have to be happy with your photos taking me on virtual tours. Thanks, Autumn Belle!
    Rosey

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  25. THANK YOU for your visit in the village MY pages ;) BEAUTIFUL PICTURES HERE! NICE WEEKS !

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  26. These are amazing photos. Thank you.

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  27. Fantastic post. Thanks for showing us around.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

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  28. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos

    Have a nice week,
    Greetings, Bram

    My Word Tuesday post

    Seen on My World Tuesday

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  29. Autumn Belle, I have enjoyed your feature on the KLCC park. If I ever make to Malaysia that will be on my itinerary.

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  30. Very informative post. I learned a lot. I've never been to Malaysia & would love to visit your beautiful country in the future. :)

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  31. Hmm...I last visited the KLCC Park about 7 years ago and landscape very much changed now, judging from your lovely photos! Thanks for sharing this great post...as usual I've enjoyed browsing through your wonderful and informative blog!
    Cheers and have an enjoyable Raya holidays coming up soon!

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