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 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[
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