Eusideroxylon zwageri

Red List status


Related spirits


Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines

What is remarkable about this tree is how slow growing it is, up to 0.5cm a year, yet if protected can reach up to 50m high at which point it may be over 1,000 years old. It is the hardest, heaviest and most valuable timber of Borneo, in fact so dense it does not float on water.

The tree has high cultural importance yet has been heavily exploited as it one of the most durable timbers in the world. The rapacious demand for palm oil, rubber and timber has led to devastating destruction of forests and species in Indonesia, where rainforests rich in diversity, including the habitat of the iconic and endangered orang-utan have been lost.

Conservation is focusing on restoration through community led tree nurseries, exchanging learning between villages and working with the palm oil sector and governments to press for sustainable development and standards.

Dr Tony Whitten, Regional Manager of Fauna & Flora International in SE Asia has been supporting the artists’ research and sourcing of seeds of this vulnerable tree.