Bassia curtisii King & Gamble
Bassia perakensis King & Gamble
Ganua chrysocarpa Pierre ex Dubard
Ganua curtisii (King & Gamble) H.J.Lam
Isonandra curtisii (King & Gamble) Baehni
Madhuca chrysocarpa (Pierre ex Dubard) Ridl.
Madhuca perakensis (King & Gamble) Ridl.
Madhuca curtisii is a tree that can grow up to 28 metres tall. The bole can be around 50cm in diameter with low buttresses[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood, which is traded under the name 'Bitis' or 'Nyatoh'[
Madhuca curtisii has a relatively large range and some collections have been made in protected areas. There are, however, threats to the quality of habitat causing a suspected population decline - in the period 2000 - 2017 there had been a loss of 22% tree cover within its range. In addition, this species is harvested for timber. The habitat loss and population decline would most likely be greater if calculated over three generation lengths (60-150 years). The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2018)[
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia (Kalimantan), Brunei
Found in a variety of habitats including by the sides of sandy beaches, peat swamps, mixed dipterocarp forest and kerangas forest; at elevations up to 800 metres[
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We do not have any more specific information on the wood of this species, but it belongs to a group of timbers collectively called 'Bitis' or 'Nyatoh'[
]. The general description of bitis wood is as follows:-
The heartwood is red-brown to purple- or chocolate-red-brown; it is sharply demarcated from the yellow-brown to purple-grey-brown sapwood. The texture is moderately fine and even, with straight or shallowly interlocked grain. The wood is strong, heavy and durable. It is very difficult to treat with preservatives.
It is slightly difficult to difficult to resaw, easy to slightly difficult to crosscut. Planing is slightly difficult but the planed surface is smooth. Nailing property is rated as poor. The timber seasons slowly with moderate end-checking, splitting and surface-checking as the major sources of defects. Shrinkage is high. The timber is likely to be fairly difficult to dry. The wood is suitable for all forms of heavy construction, bridges, wharves, piers, piling, posts, railway sleepers, parquet flooring and heavy flooring.
Bitis is essentially a Peninsular Malaysian name. In Sabah and Sarawak, the timber is not differentiated from the lighter species of Madhuca and Palaquium, and they are all sold together as nyatoh.
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