Native Indonesian wild fruit is very abundant. this time we will discuss one of the most delicious fruits that we can find in Indonesian forests, namely Saninten. Currently, the government has issued a regulation to protect the existence of Saninten from exploitation. Hopefully, the existence of Saninten will remain sustainable, so that it can be enjoyed and remain part of Indonesia’s forests.

“Saninten buah saninten, saninten di parapatan. Hapunten abdi hapunten, bilih Aya kalepatan”

The famous Sundanese Poem

Because the leaves and fruit are like rambutan, peoples also call it as “Forest Rambutan”. Sweet Chestnut in English, because it smells good, it tastes sweet and tasty and soft. Very distinctive taste. In Mount Ciremai, Saninten even has a “life partner”, Pasang (Arthocarpus sp). The local people believe that Pasang tree is the “husband” of Saninten. Allegedly, Pasang tree has an important role in the Saninten fertilization process.

Native Indonesian wild fruit

Classification

  • Kingdom  :  Plantae
  • Clade       :  Angiosperms
  • Clade       :  Eudicots
  • Order        :  Fagales
  • Family      :  Fagaceae
  • Genus      :  Castanopsis
  • Species    :  C. argentea

Local Names

Berangan, Kastanye, Sarangan (Indonesia), Berang (Melayu), Saninten (Sunda)

Actually, the name of Berangan is for the Genus Castanopsis in general. This genus produces fruit/seeds which are popular as raw material for a popular product, chestnuts. This product is famous for being very delicious as a snack. Meanwhile, Saninten is Castanopsis argentea.

Distribution

Saninten widely spread from India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan)

Identic With West Java

As native Indonesian wild fruit, Saninten is identical to West Java. The population in Indonesia is generally, abundant in the western part of the island of Java rainforests. Starting from Banten, and all forests in the mountains in West Java.

Since time immemorial often used trees as a feature of an area. Not only trees, rivers, lakes, or other water sources are often the starting point for naming an area. Saninten Village, is in the Kaduhejo District, Pandeglang Regency, Banten Province. This is due to a large number of Saninten trees in the forest around the village.

There is also the name Jalan Saninten, Cihapit, Bandung Wetan, Bandung City, West Java Province. In addition, there is also Kampung Saninten in Ciomas, Bogor, West Java. Because the Sundanese people are so familiar with the Saninten tree, many poems in Sundanese use the words Saninten.

Description

The Saninten tree (Castanopsis argentea Blume A.DC) has a height of 35 to 40 meters. The bark is black, rough, and cracked with an uneven surface. There are longitudinal grooves on the stem which are nothing but pith lines protruding outward.

Saninten, another name, namely Berangan, has alternating single leaves, elongated taper (lanceolate). The leaf surface is waxy, and the underside is silvery gray covered with dense star-like hairs or scales.

Native Indonesian wild fruit1

Like the leaves of the rambutan tree. The fruit has sharp spikes like rambutan too, the difference is that when we squeeze the rambutan fruit it will feel soft. But if it’s Saninten fruit, don’t even try it. Because when squeezed the thorns directly pierce the skin of the hands.

Utilization

Traditionally, processing the nuts is very easy. Can be boiled or baked until the thorns are soft. Can also crack the seed shell, then take the inside for roasting. With technology, these nuts will become high economic value as snacks. Commercial products are available in the market both offline and online. But, actually, the native Indonesian wild fruit is still underuse. To date, it seems that there has been no serious effort to cultivate this species on a commercial scale. Plants only grow wild in the forest

Native Indonesian wild fruit product
Some product of Castanopsis

The Fruit Season Is Every Two Years

Although the taste of the fruit is special. But it is very difficult to get this fruit because there are many rivals !. There are langurs, monkeys, civets, and other fruit-eating animals. In addition, Saninten also bears fruit every two years.

Even if it bears fruit every year, usually after a year the fruit is empty. Only a year later contains the fruit. This means that Saninten saplings from the mother tree are difficult to find because they have a long fruiting period. Plus each seed is eaten by predators. Even though these seeds are the embryos of tillers. If so, it is not wrong if the Indonesian Research Institute (LIPI) states this native Indonesian wild fruit plant is rare.

Become One Of Protected Native Indonesian Wild Fruit Species

This is one of the reasons why the Saninten tree is now protected. It is not surprising that the Government is firm in the Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry number 92 of 2018. The regulation includes Saninten as one of the protected plant species.

So, now Saninten’s status is protected both inside and outside the forest area. Then, can Saninten fruit not be consumed anymore? According to Forestry Minister Regulation number 35 of 2007, Saninten fruit is one type of non-timber forest product that is permitted for its use. However, to avoid overexploitation, the exploitation of natural resources must be maintained in a good and correct manner and without destroying it.


Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses

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