Hopea odorata, or ta-khian (Thai: ตะเคียน), is a species of plant in the Dipterocarpaceae family. It is found in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is a large tree reaching up to 45 m in height with the base of the trunk reaching a diameter of 4.5 m. It grows in forests, preferably near rivers, at altitudes between 0 and 600m. In places such as West Bengal and the Andaman Islands it is often planted as a shade tree. Valued for its wood, it is a threatened species in its natural habitat.
|Leaves of Hopea odorata|
In Thailand this tree is believed to be inhabited by a certain tree spirit known as Lady Ta-khian (Thai: นางตะเคียน), belonging to a type of ghosts related to trees known generically as Nang Mai (นางไม้). In Cambodia it is known as the koki and the legend of the founding of Wat Phnom in Cambodia refers to the finding of Buddha statues in a koki tree floating in the river.