Croixia hexandra (Griff.) Baehni
Dichopsis hexandra (Griff.) C.B.Clarke
Isonandra hexandra Griff.
Palaquium pisang Burck
Payena griffithii Kurz
Palaquium hexandrum is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 50 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 150cm in diameter with buttresses up to 3 metres high[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of latex and wood. It is said to be one of the most important sources of vegetable fat in Sumatra[
].. The wood is also traded under the name 'Nyatoh'.
Palaquium hexandrum has a wide range and some collections have been made in protected areas. There has, however, been 16% tree cover loss within its range from 2000 to 2016. Based on this there is a suspected population decline which is likely to be 25-30% if calculated over three generation lengths (60-150 years) rather than 16 years. The plant is classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2018)[
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia.
An upper canopy tree in undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forests; growing on alluvial sites, but also on ridges with sandy soils and on limestone; at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Near Threatened
|Other Uses Rating||
].A sour flavour[
]. The fruit is a green-yellow drupe about 32 mm long[
The seeds are used to extract fat[
The latex is used as gutta percha (rubber)[
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 timber is used[
We do not have any more specific information on the wood of this species, but it belongs to a group of timbers collectively called 'Nyatoh'. The general description of nyatoh wood is as follows:-
The heartwood is a dark pink to a red-brown; it is clearly demarcated from the 4 - 9cm wide band of lighter-coloured sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked, sometimes wavy. The wood is light in weight, soft to moderately hard; strong, somewhat durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, moderately resistant to fungi but susceptible to termites. It seasons somewhat slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is stable in service. There is a very variable content of silica according to the species, but in general the wood has a high blunting effect so stellite-tipped and tungsten-carbide tools are recommended; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct. The wood has a range of applications, including for high class furniture and cabinet making, solid doors, panelling, joinery, parquet flooring, boat decking, light carpentry, turnery, moulding and veneer[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.