A small- to medium- sized sized evergreen, upright tree that grows up to 30 metres. Trunk is straight and short. Young branches are somewhat shiny and green in colour with the leaves often crowned at the end. Leaves are leathery and shiny, 14 to 20 cm long and four to ten cm wide, widest in or frequently above the middle, tapering at the base. Leaf apex is round or faintly acuminate and obtuse with prominent midrib and lateral veins underneath. Inflorescence is an umbel with peduncle of two to 12 cm and terminal or lateral in position. Flowers are white in colour with 0.5 to 1 cm long cylindrical tube and fragrant. Corolla is deeply divided into five lobes, which are longer than the tube and oblong or obtuse in shape. Fruit is a drupe, comes in pair, smooth, distinct, elliptical in shape, 5 to 8 cm long and bluntly pointed. Matured fruit is bright yellow in colour. Each fruit contains an ovate-shaped strongly flattened seeds.
Cork wood tree's Behavior & Ecology
It grows in clayey and loamy soil but prefers well-drained sandy soil for better performance. Its tolerance to drought and aerosol salt is high and tolerance to sail salinity is moderate. It grows well close to the sea in full sun or partial shade. It can be propagated by seeds and cuttings.
Cork wood tree's Reproduction
Its flowers are pollinated by insects and Propagation by Seed.
Cork wood tree's Relationship with Humans
Wood is soft and has distinct odour. Sapwood is yellow or shades of yellow and heartwood is dark coloured. Wood can be used only for lighter construction and firewood. In the Maldives, wood was used in the past for carpentry, particularly for cot and tables and two types of benches called boduashi and kudaashi. According to elders, the wood was normally heated before use to make it stronger and long lasting. Leaves were also once used as a green and were popularly used to cover cooked foods. Children sometimes eat ripe fruits. Now it is frequently grown as a support tree for betel leaves. Flowers are used to make medicines for skin diseases.