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 50°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 ‘mourning’ 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[
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