Palaquium cochleariifolium is a tree that can grow up to 30 metres tall. The bole can be around 45cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested on a commercial basis for its wood, which is sold on the international market under the name 'Bitis'[
Palaquium cochleariifolium has been collected in several localities, is known from protected areas and has a large extend of occurence. However, there has been nearly 12% tree cover loss within the extent of occurrence, and the species is known to be used as timber. Currently, the plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
]. Reassessment is, however, likely to be needed since a part of the population can be found in kerangas and peat swamp forest, which are under higher levels of threat, and also the fact that the majority of the available georeferenced collections were made before 1960[
Southeast Asia - Borneo, in Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei
Swampy forests and kerangas forests[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
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'. 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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