The provincial tree is “Persimmon” (Ma
Plub). - Local Name: In Chiang Rai, it is called “Ma Plub”, “Ma
Ga Lub Tong” or “Ma Kub Tong”
General characteristics :
“Persimmon” or “Ma Plub” is a medium-sized perennial plant with
up to 15 meters tall. Its trunk is often curved and its bark is
quite plain. Its colors are mixed between brown and light green
or black. It is a monocotyledon whose leaves are arranged
alternately. It consists of parallel-rim leaves with 4 – 7
centimeters wide and 7 – 10 centimeters long. The leaves’ bases
are bent. The leaves’ edges are smooth and its tips are smooth
and round. The leaves’ texture is thick and sleek on both sides.
Ma Plub’s blossoms are autoicous with different trunks. The
antheridia blossoms in short bouquet along leaves’ prongs. Its
flower stalks, with dense feathers, are 2 millimeters long. The
archegonia blossoms in solitarily flowers along small branches.
Its flower stalks, with feathers, are 5 - 10 millimeters long.
Its fruits are round or quite round. The fruits’ skins consist
of brown scales. Its petals look like topknots. Each petal is
almost separated. The fruits’ skins are flat and smooth or
partly composed of feathers on both sides. Most petals are
folded reversely. Some of them spreads. The petals’ edges,
without lined patterns, are glittery like a wave.
It grows on tropical rain forests and on mangrove forests which
are 2 – 30 meters above the sea level in the South. It can be
propagated by using seeds.
Medical properties :
Its barks and woods could be boiled for drinking water which can
help harmonize the five elements and enhance appetites.
Moreover, the barks and the woods can be roasted with fire to be
crisp, chopped up and brewed to drink. It could help alleviate
sexual impotence and nourish sexual desire.
Other benefits :
The Ma Plub’s gum can be melted in water to dye fishnets and
ring nets in order to make them durable like an ebony. However,
its gum is a lot better because it will not make a thread rigid
like an ebony, so the cost of Ma Plub’s gum is so much greater
than the ebony’s cost. Some shrewd merchants bring an ebony’s
gum to sell claiming that it is Ma Plub’s gum. This became a
Thai proverb: "ต่อหน้ามะพลับ ลับหลังตะโก" (Acting good in front
of somebody’s face, but backbiting behind his/her back.)
Ma Plub is one of sacred the trees of Thai people. It is defined
to plant to the southern direction. It is anciently believed
that planting Ma Plub in houses’ areas will make the owners