Flora on Lake Toba
Biodiversity on Lake Toba is evident by the existence of abundant flora and fauna that grow in the region. The vegetation consists of natural plants such as trees, shrubs, perennial herbs and grasses and plants, such as meranti, lime, keruing, puspa, forest mangosteen, kingwood, pine, liana, epiphytes, zing iberaceae, Atuang (Semecarpus, sp), sona, dakkap and kamboang angsana. There are also banyan, cypress, eucalyptus, mahoni, kaliandra, pecan, johar, mindi, nutmeg, pine, suren, avocado, and aren. Lake Toba is also home to bamboo, star fruit, cloves, chocolate, durian, gamal, cashew, jengkol, coconut, pecan, coffee, cinnamon, mango, jackfruit, chinese petai, petai, pinang, rambutan, palm, sawo, and soursop.
Hartinah Orchid (Cymbidium hartinahianum) is one of the endemic species of orchid plants on Lake Toba. Scientists found the orchid in the Baniara Tele village, Harian District, Samosir, in 1976. It is land orchid that lives together. It likes the open space between the grasses and other plants such as the type of ferns, semar bags, and others. The leave represents a tapered tape with a length of 50-60 cm. The flowers are thick-textured stars. The leaves of the petals and the leaves of the crown are almost as large, the top surface is yellowish green, and the brownish bottom surface is yellow at the edges.
Sampinur rope (known as Sampinur tali or Dacrydium junghuhnii) is also endemic (or semi-endemic) on Lake Toba. The plant has a useful function for protection and water system and provides economic benefits for the community since it is one of the most lasting plants. It can grow for hundreds of years, and its trunk can size up to 60 centimeters (2 ft) in diameter.
Andaliman is a secret recipe that makes Batak cuisine compelling. Having a distinctive flavor, it leaves traces of bitterness, pain, or immune to the tongue. Andaliman is a clump of orange-citrus that contains natural vitamin C and E that serves to maintain endurance. It also provides essential oil compounds and alkaloids that function as anti-oxidants and anti-microbial. The herb is a must if you want to taste Batak food.
The Sumatran pine (Pinus merkusii) forest dominates the panoramic flora of Lake Toba. Pinus merkusii is a medium-sized to large tree, reaching 25–45 meters (82–148 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1 meter (3.3 ft). The bark is orange-red, thick and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk, and thin and flaky in the upper crown. The leaves (“needles”) are in pairs, very slender, 15–20 cm long and less than 1 mm thick, green to yellowish green. The cones are narrow conic, 5–8 cm long and 2 cm broad at the base when closed, green at first, ripening glossy red-brown. They open to 4–5 cm broad at maturity to release the seeds. The seeds are 5–6 mm long, with a 15–20 mm wing, and are wind-dispersed.
Other plants also exist but are hard to find, such as mint flavored leaves (Litsea cubeba), ampapaga medicine grass (Centella asiatica), andalehat fruit trees (Chrysophyllum roxburghii G), and cypress. Some trees that live on Lake Toba are also tricky to find, such as pokki trees, hardwood trees, and piupiu tanggule trees. The latter is the mystical tree that Batak use to make the stick called Panaluhan.
Visit Garden of Eden 100 to see the collection of plants, flowers, and trees that live and grow in the forest around Lake Toba.
See also Fauna on Lake Toba.