Croixia calophylla (Teijsm. & Binn.) Baehni
Dichopsis calophylla (Teijsm. & Binn.) Benth. & Hook.f.
Isonandra calophylla Teijsm. & Binn.
Palaquium calophyllum is an evergreen tree that can grow 20 metres or more tall. The bole is straight and cylindrical[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its gum, which is used locally.
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to New Guinea.
Mixed dipterocarp forest, alluvial forest and keranga forest, at elevations up to 800 metres[
A latex that exudes from the bark is chewed as a gum[
A latex obtained from the trunk is a source of gutta percha[
Gutta-percha is a natural latex obtained from the sap of the tree. Allowing this fluid to evaporate and coagulate in the sun produces a hard, durable, non-brittle but non-elastic latex which can be made flexible again when heated to temperatures over 50Â°c, and then retains any form given while cooling. Prior to the advent of synthetic materials, gutta-percha had a wide range of uses - most particularly as an insulating material for electricity wiring and for underwater telegraph wires, a purpose for which it is very well suited since it is bio-inert and so is not attacked by marine plants or animals. Gutta-percha can be moulded into any shape and has been used to make items such as ornate furniture, pistol grips, acid-resistant receptacles and â€˜mourningâ€™ jewellery, where its dark colour was an advantage. It has been widely used as the core of golf balls and is still used in modern dentistry where its bio-inertness makes it ideal as a temporary filling for teeth and as a filling material inside tooth fillings[
]. It is used locally for fixing tools into their handles[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.