Fagraea fragrans, Cyrtophyllum fragrans, Tembusu, Ironwood

Fagraea fragrans, Cyrtophyllum fragrans

Tembusu, Ironwood
Family: Gentianaceae    (Formerly:Loganiaceae )
Origin: Burma to Indomalesia
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterWhite, off-white flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsFragrant plantFlood tolerant plant

The Tembusu is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. It is slow-growing, medium-sized with a conical crown, sometimes being no more than a shrub. Very fragrant creamy white tubular flowers have a distinct aroma and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.

This is a highly variable species. 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. The tree yields a high-quality timber and excellent fuel and charcoal. It is planted in reforestation and soil stabilization programs and is also often planted as an ornamental and shade tree in parks and along roads.

Close related species:

F. gigantea - a large canopy tree with more regularly fissured bark and leaves that have an undulating margin and only 5 - 6 instead of around 8 pairs of secondary veins.

F. wallichiana - with broader leaves, larger flowers, and larger more ellipsoid fruits

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