melicocca bijuga

Intsia bijuga

This is about ipil (Intsia bijuga), for the ipil-ipil tree, see Leucaena leucocephala.

Intsia bijuga (aka ipil, merbau, kwila) is a tree that grows in mangroves in Southeast Asia and islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is a member of the tropical Caesalpiniaceae family. It grows to around 50 meters (160 feet) tall with a highly buttressed trunk. It is the official tree of the United States territory of Guam.

The tree has a variety of common names including ipil, merbau and kwila. In the Philippines, it also known in some areas as taal.

Due to extensive logging of the tree, it is endangered in many places in Southeast Asia, and almost extinct in some.Extensive amounts have been purchased for the venue of the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, which is the largest importer of the wood. The wood is used for flooring in U.S. and European markets where it is commonly sold under different names. Both licensed and unlicensed mills harvest the wood.


The tree's timber, called merbau or kwila, is a very durable and termite-resistant wood, making it a highly valued material for flooring and other uses. The wood can also be used to extract a dye. The bark and leaves of the ipil are used in traditional medicines. Merbau can contain a "gold" fleck that runs through the grain, considered to be attractive by some.


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