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Several species of Licuala occur in the Merimbun area of Tutong district, Brunei Darussalam. One kind of Licuala, called benjiru by the local Dusun population, is often collected for sale as a vegetable. While Licuala is not generally considered an important economic plant, overharvesting in the Merimbun area suggests that conservation measures may be needed to protect it from local extinction. Besides benjiru, other kinds of Licuala recognized by the Dusun are called silad and ukang. The three kinds of Licuala do not have one overall name in the Dusun language, but constitute a covert category at the "intermediate" ethnobotanical rank. They are also associated with different ecological zones. Benjiru is found in the alluvium and low-lying ground, while silad is generally found in hilly forest land, and ukang in hilly belukar (recent secondary growth).


This work was originally published in Brunei Museum Journal.



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