Croixia leiocarpa (Boerl.) Baehni
Palaquium molle Pierre ex Becc.
Common Name: Jongkang
Jongkang is an evergreen tree growing up to 35 metres tall[
]. The bole is straight and cylindrical.
The tree is harvested from the wild for its latex.
Southeast Asia - western and central Malaysia.
Lowland freshwater swamp forest[
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The tree is a source of gutta-percha[
]. It is considered to be inferior to the gutta percha obtained from Palaquium gutta and some other species, and so is more commonly used to adultuerate the superior forms[
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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