ITS–The bark of this export commodityplant contains latex. Latex is a very important material for making tires, gloves, balls, and so on. The Rubber plant is native to Brasilia, South America. The plant’s scientific name is Hevea brasiliensis, and it belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. The Indonesian name for the plant is “karet” or “pohonkaret.”
In Indonesia this plant has been cultivated on large farms, especially for tire factories. When the rubber tree is seven years of age, the milky latex can be produced and collected from the bark by slightly cutting the stem spirally.
The plant can reach a height of 15 to 30 meters. The leaves are plural; one leaf contains three elliptically formed blades that are pointed at the tips. The leaves are green with petioles of 8 to 20 centimeters long. The flowers emerge from June to September. They are white and fragrant. There are two kinds of flowers, the female flower and the male one. The fruit has three chambers and contains big seeds. The seeds are brown with many small black spots. The ripe fruit fall sand spreads the seeds around the tree. The rubber plant can be cultivated by seeding or cloning. It grows best up to 1,000 m above sea level. Beside the latex, people also use the rubber wood for making charcoal. The young leaves are commonly cooked with rice to give a special fragrant odor.