Croixia maingayi (C.B.Clarke) Baehni
Dichopsis maingayi C.B.Clarke
Looking into the canopy of a tree growing in Bukit Nanas forest reserve, Kuala Lumpur
Photograph by: Patrice78500
Palaquium maingayi is an evergreen tree growing up to 30 metres tall[
]. The bole is straight and cylindrical.
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber and a latex that is a source of gutta-percha. The timber is used locally and also traded on an international scale[
Felling activities have reduced populations, whilst human settlement expansion has reduced available habitats. This has put the species under some pressure, though it has only been classified as being of 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2010)[
Southeast Asia - western Thailand, Malaysia.
Lowland and hill forests, at elevations up to 1,100 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
The tree is a source of a good quality gutta-percha[
]. Of moderate quality[
]. It is used as an adulterant of better class 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[
The heavy, dark brown wood is used for house construction, canoes, furniture, doors, veneer, panelling, flooring, tools and musical instruments[
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