Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

Notice Board

Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Century Old Casuarina Trees of Ipoh Field

Casuarina trees are native to Australasia and South East Asia. They are also known as she-oak, beefwood or Australian pine and come from the family of casuarinaceae. The casuarina tree is a tall and graceful evergreen tree with slender, drooping branches and pine shaped leaves. Some say it looks like a pine tree while others have mistaken it for a coniferous tree.

These are casuarina trees in front of Ipoh Padang. Can you imagine a tree that has already been around since before your grandparents were born? Standing here on a windy day, I can almost hear a whistling sound as the trees sway gracefully against the breeze. My grandparents had walked along this road. Mum and dad came here during their courting days. I have also brought my family here to enjoy the panoramic view and to tell them about our history. There are quite a number of colonial heritage buildings around this area such as the HSBC Bank building (1920), Standard Chartered Bank (1908), High Court (1928) and the FMS (1906) building that once housed a famous bar and restaurant. Through the decades, our nation has changed from the British colonial time, to Japanese occupation to a brand new independent Malaysia. Through the years, the casuarinas had stood tall, as beautiful as ever.

This is the Ipoh Padang meaning Ipoh Field. Next to the field is the Royal Ipoh Club, a white tudor styled clubhouse established by the British in 1895. The Ipoh Padang was built in 1898 and casuarina trees were planted around this field. Those were the days when the state of Perak, Malaya was a British protectorate state. The British who lived here liked greenery. These trees acted as a wind breaker and provided the shade from the hot tropical sun. Rich tin miners and rubber barrons would patronise the clubhouse while the more adventurous and athletic ones will play cricket in the field. Nowadays, this field is also used for soccer games, morning and evening exercises, entertainment concerts and other state events. Do you see blue mountains behind the buildings ?

This is another view of the beautiful casuarina trees. In front is a building with green outlines and designs. It is the Indian Moslem Mosque, built in 1908. Further behind this mosque is the St. Michael's Institution.

St. Michael's Institution was a Christian (Catholic) missionary school establised in 1912 by a group of La Salle brothers. Now it is a government aided school providing education for primary and secondary school children.

I believe that the area surrounding the Ipoh Field is the most beautiful and symbolic representation of Ipoh. What will Ipoh be without the evergreen casuarinas? Certainly it will lose a big part of its charm. I want my future generations to be able to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the casuarinas just as I had the privilege to do during my time.


  1. Causarinas are used here as windbreaks and are called whistling willows in some of the other islands. Beautiful post! Do you all still play cricket?

  2. Just to add.., there is a hotel named Hotel Casuarina along Gopeng Road!!! (not Hotel California is in the song by Eagles.. haha.)

    One of the many memorable things around Ipoh Padang was the cendol, popia and rojak. It was fun slurping cendol by the field. We were courting then Belle..., me and Kakdah. .... haha... If you angle the camera a little bit to the left, there should be Masjid India, famous for its pigeons!!

    You really nudge me off balance with Nostalgia.... Remember Hugh Low Street and Brewster Road?

  3. Casuarina is my favorite tree. It reminds me of my sunset watching with my sisters during bachelorhood in Tanjung Aru Beach. Lots of casuarina grows there.

  4. Helen, you've just said what I what to hear about calling these trees "whistling willows". The casuarinas do remind me of a giant willow tree. During my younger days, I frequently see a cricket game in action but nowadays, I guess they do play it occassionally. They have the Perak Cricket Association which is affliated with the Malaysian Cricket Association.

    Bangchik, thank you very much for telling about you and Kakdah spending time at the padang. How romantic! On Hugh Low Street, it is now very quiet at night, a shadow of its past.

    FJL, Wow, sunsets at the beach under the casuarina trees! I'm photos on this will be breathtaking indeed. Tj Aru is a very beautiful place.

  5. We also plant beefwood trees here for windbreaks and shade. The leaves are graceful but I find the very deep green colour sad.

  6. That was a fun tour and history lesson.
    For some reason the missionary school caught my eye.

  7. Yes, I enjoyed the tour and history, too. I'd never heard of those trees. They sure are beautiful!

    Thank you for your comment on my Blooming Friday post.

  8. I always meet my old friends at the cafe in the old shop house next to the padang during Chinese New Year. Also, I recall congregating in this padang for a national day parade march :-)... very very long time ago... yeah... those trees were there as long as I can remember. Ipoh is the most beautiful town in the world... coz it is my hometown!!! ha ha ha...

  9. Casuarina is a beautiful name, and Ipoh looks like a beautiful place. Thanks for bringing us there.

  10. I love the description being whistling willows! Reading your blog makes me wish I could hop in a plane immediately. I have only been to SE Asia once (Bali) but really want to return!

  11. Elephant eye, its great to know that similar trees can be found there too.

    Patsi, many people share the same opinion that this school has a picture-perfect view. This is a famous school in Ipoh.

    Sue, I'm glad you enjoyed this post.

    Stephanie, I agree that this padang really brings back a lot of fond memories.

    Helen, and Theurbanfieldguide, Malaysia is a beautiful place.

  12. Came across your post when I googled Casuarina :)

    Nice article, AB. Just bought a piece of land on the beach of Alleppey in Kerala, India....a dream come true. A couple of casuarinas proudly stand between the plot and the beach and I love to call them the 'whistling willows'

    Best wishes to all

  13. Binoy, thank you very much for your comment. Wow, a garden by the beach! How nice to have your dream come true. It must be a heavenly watching sunsets or sunrises with the lovely silhouettes of casuarinas by the beach.

    In Malaysia, Mauritius and the Barbados, there are hotels named after the Casuarina tree.

    Planting such trees are surely a precious gift for the next gerneration. May you have many many happy memories with loved ones under the shade of these casuarina trees.

  14. I have some interesting on the use of Casuarina tree leaves. In swiftlet farming we use fake nests made of Casuarina leaves.

    Have a look at my latest posting on it.

    Very strange method to use those leaves as a gadget to lure those swiftlet into bird houses.

    Go to


Words are like the voice of the heart... Confucius

Note: If you are unable to comment on my latest post, click on the post title to reopen the post and try writing your comments again. Comments under "Anonymous" will be automatically treated as spam if no name is included.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin