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ton phluang (ต้นพลวง)

Thai name for a deciduous tree with the botanical name Dipterocarpus tuberculatus. It grows up to 25 meters high and has broadly ovate leaves, with a blunt tip and a rounded or heart-shaped base (fig.). The leaves, called bai (ใบต้นพลวง) ton phluang in Thai, are somewhat reminiscent to those of the teak tree, but with a completely smooth surface, rather than the rough surface of teak leaves (fig.). The large leaves are commonly used as a wrapper for foodstuffs and to thatch roofs (fig.) of bamboo huts, village gates and forest dwellings (fig.), especially in Mae Hong Son province (fig.), where this tree grows abundantly. Since recently, the leaves are also laminated in a special way and made into all sorts of bags (fig.) and other durable items. Also known as ton tong teung. See also tong.