The Bodhi Tree

Bodhi trees can be found in Buddhist temples all over Thailand. Some of them are enormous and very beautiful with huge tree size branches shooting off horizontally. The oldest Bodhi tree in Thailand, the Prachin Bodhi at Prachin Buri is now 1100 years old.

The original Bodhi tree was the tree at Bodh Gaya under which the Buddha sat on the night he attained enlightenment. At that time it was already a large and very old and sacred tree. Afterwards it became a symbol of the Buddha’s presence and an object of worship. The nun Sanghamitta, took a cutting of the tree to Sri Lanka where it still grows in the island’s ancient capital of Anaradapura.

A type of fig (botanical name Ficus religiosa), the Bodhi tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves. When looking at the tree, the leaves can be seen prominently displayed, hanging facing outwards with the tips downwards.

We have so many beautiful bodhi skeleton leaves on sale in our shop.

Why not take a look?

The Rubber Tree

Our rubber tree leaves (often known simply as skeleton leaves) are harvested from the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). It is the same tree as the tree from which latex is collected for use in making natural rubber. The tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae, is a deciduous tree originating in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins. It has leathery leaves and fragrant yellow-white flowers.

Although the tree originated in South America, today most Pará rubber trees are grown on plantations in South and Southeast Asia and some also in tropical West Africa. Where I (Mike) live in northern Thailand, Pará rubber trees are now just beginning to be planted in place of old mango orchards. In about 5–6 years time, the local farmers will start to harvest by making incisions into the latex vessels which spiral up the tree. The cuts will be made orthogonally to the latex vessels, just deep enough to tap the vessels without harming the tree’s growth. Small buckets will be fixed to the tree to collect the sap. The trees should provide latex for up to 25 years.

Rubber has been harvested by man for a surprisingly long time. As long as 3600 years ago, the Olmec people of Mesoamerica used rubber from Pará rubber trees. The rubber was used, amongst other things, to make the balls used in ancient ballgames. It is thought that the balls were solid, possibly weighing 1.5kg to 3.0kg and were played using the hip.

Nowadays rubber has many uses e.g. tyres and inner tubes, textiles, adhesives, gloves. Rubber tree leaves however, have few uses apart from decorative uses such as skeleton leaves.

We have plenty of delightful rubber tree skeleton leaves available in our shop.

Why not take a look?