The tembusu (Malay for Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by Pteropus fruit bats.
Buabua (Fiji Islands), Urung (Philippines), Temasuk (Sabah), Tatrao, Trai (Vietnam), Kan Krao (Thailand), Tembesu (Indonesia), Anan, Anama (Burma), Munpla (Thailand, Laos),Ta Trao (Cambodia).
The trunk of this tree can produce very hard wood that can be used to make chopping boards. The wood can last over 100 years, particularly as termites and weevils do not eat this kind of wood. People always use this wood for creating the floors of their homes and love to sleep on it.
- It is the provincial tree of Surin Province, Thailand.
- It is pictured on the Singaporean five-dollar bill
- It is the University tree of Ubonratchathani, Thailand.
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