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Intsia Bijuga









  • It is a tree that can grow up to 50 m tall, with up to a 250 cm diameter at breast height for the trunk, and can have buttress roots up to 4 m tall and 2 m wide.

  • Its spirally arranged, stalked leaves have 1–3 pairs of thinly leathery leaflets that are oppositely arranged. Each leaflet is broadly oval, egg-shaped or drop-shaped, and 2.5–18 by 1.5–12 cm.

  • Its flowers are in flowering shoots (inflorescences) that are up to 17 cm long. Its flowers are bisexual. Its white or pink flower petals are 6–30 by 10–35 mm.

  • Its fruits are woody pods that have one cavity and one row of seeds, that are oblong, slightly flat, are brown or black when ripe, and 8.5–28 by 4–7.5 cm. Its seeds are hard-coated, 2–3.5 cm in diameter, and 0.8 cm thick.

Intsia bijuga (vulnerable type) is a common medium-sized, unarmed tree with a spreading crown; it can grow up to 40 metres tall. The bole can be 150 - 200cm in diameter, often with small buttresses 2 - 4 metres high and around 2 metres wide. It is listed in the IUCN Red Data List as vulnerable.




Intsia Bijuga perform best in full sun and on free- to slow-draining soils, ranging from sand to clay and from slightly acid to alkaline, generally with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. It has good tolerance to seasonal flooding, slow-draining or saturated soils, and salty.




Grows naturally in moderately humid tropical coastal and lowland climates, generally in areas with annual lows of 19 to 25°C, annual highs of 27 to 35°C, annual rainfall of 1500 to 4000 mm and a dry season of 5 months or less.


Other names of the Intsia Bijuga: Borneo teak, kwila, vesi, Johnston river teak, ipil, ifit, merbau, scrub mahogany and Moluccan ironwood

Places where the Intsia Bijuga are present:

  • across Southeast Asia and

  • Oceania,

  • as well as Madagascar

How useful is the Intsia Bijuga?

  • Its roots protect the soil along waterways alongside mangroves and safeguard against erosion and wind damage; it serves as a source of nitrogen fixation which improves soil quality.

  • The trees are good shelters for nesting birds as well as a food source for pollinators

  • The bark has been relied upon for traditional medical treatments in different cultures, including Vietnam, to treat rheumatism, dysentery, diarrhea and urinary issues.

  • It was even considered sacred in Fiji, and bowls were made with its wood to serve the island’s traditional beverage, yogona.

  • In Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, it is used to make bridges, railway cars, houses and furniture, in addition to home goods such as utensils, walking sticks and ornamental carvings.

  • Numerous seafaring cultures have relied on it to construct masts, hulls and oars in addition to canoes

  • The wood is prized as a luxury material for flooring, furniture and musical instruments. Gold flecks that occur naturally in the reddish timber make it particularly popular amongst Chinese consumers, who have increased export demand across the region.

Current situation of the Intsia Bijuga:

  • classified as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List

  • If illegal logging continues at current rates without increased conservation efforts, Greenpeace worries the species may be lost within the next 35 years.

  • And if Intsia Bijuga vanished, it would have a ripple effect across ecosystems of potentially unknown gravity

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