Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Intsia bijuga

Commonly known as Ipil-ipil, this tree is native to Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Ipil-ipil is a medium sized tree with a spreading crown that grows to about 35m in height. Mature trees have rounded and steep buttresses that can exceed 4m when fully developed. The bark is a distinctive light pinkish to reddish brown to light grey colour, generally smooth but peeling in irregular sizes exposing the fresh colour underneath.

The leaves are smooth, shiny, and light green in colour. They are pinnately compound, with about four leaflets in a broad, elliptical shape. 

Individual flowers are moderately large with four green sepals. The petals are white with a red center. The flowers flower all year round. 

The fruits are in the form of thick, oblong, and rigid pods up to 10cm wide and 30cm long. Each pod contains two to eight round seeds which are brown in colour and flattened. The fruits have a laxative effect though the seeds can be consumed.

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