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Pterospermum Indicum

wood, tree, amboyna and burr

PTEROSPERMUM INDICUM. —? Kyaboka wood tree, ENG. I Lingo* wood tree, . ENG. Amboyna wood tree, „ Serioulout, . . MALAY.

The kyaboka of commerce is said by Prof. Rein wardt, of Leyden, to be the burr of the Ptero spermum Indicum, but by others that of Ptero cat pus draco, and to be brought from the Moluccas, the islands of Borneo, Amboyna, etc. The wood is of the same colour as the burr, or rather lighter, and in grain resembles plain mahogany. Colonel Lloyd is quoted as saying that the root of the cocoanut tree is so similar, when dry and seasoned, to the bird's-eye part of the wood, termed kyaboka, that he could perceive no difference ; the cocoa has a tortuous and silky fracture, almost like indurated asbestos. The general belief is that a tree called Pt. Indicum throws out burrs or excres cences, and that which receives the name of Amboyna wood or lingoa wood, seems to be the timber of the bole of the tree, sometimes along with that of the burr. The lingoa or Amboyna wood is abundant at Ceram, New Guinea, and throughout the Molucca seas. It is very durable, and takes a high polish. At the Exhibition of 1851, there was a circular slab of this wood, from Ceram, 6 feet 7 inches in diameter. But such large circular slabs are only obtained by taking advantage of the spurs which project from the base of the trunk. They are occasionally met

with so large as 9 feet, but the usual size is from 4 to 6 feet. Amboyna or lingoa wood was im ported in considerable quantities into Great Britain during the period in which the Moluccas were British possessions ; but Poole in his Statistics of Commerce says it is now rarely seen in Britain.

The kyaboka wood of commerce is brought from Ceram, N. Guinea, the Aru and other islands of the Moluccas, to Singapore, being much esteemed as a fancy or ornamental wood for cabinet-work. Of late years its estimation seems to have decreased in Europe, but it is still much valued by the Chinese, and is sold by weight. It is sawn off in slabs from 2 to 4 feet long and 2 to 8 inches thick. It resembles the burr of the yew. It is used for making small boxes, writing-desks, and other fancy ornamental work. It is tolerably hard, and full of small curls and knots ; the colour is from orange to chesnut-brown, and sometimes red brown.—Holizapfel, J. R. Jr. E. of 1855; Cat. Ex., 1851; Sing. Cat. Ex., 1861 ; Poole's Statistics.