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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.[1] 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.[3] Valued for its wood, it is a threatened species in its natural habitat.[4]

Hopea odorata
Leaves of Hopea odorata.jpg
Leaves of Hopea odorata
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Dipterocarpaceae
Genus: Hopea
H. odorata
Binomial name
Hopea odorata


In Thailand this tree is believed to be inhabited by a certain tree spirit known as Lady Ta-khian (Thai: นางตะเคียน),[5] belonging to a type of ghosts related to trees known generically as Nang Mai (นางไม้).[6] 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.



  1. ^ a b Ashton, P. 1998. Hopea odorata
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  3. ^ AgroForestryTree Database - Species information
  4. ^ 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Archived 2014-06-27 at the Wayback Machine Downloaded on 21 August 2007.
  5. ^ Nang Ta-khian
  6. ^ Spirits

External linksEdit