Other Common Names: Tat-talun
(Burma), Lumpha, Lumpho (Thailand), Kwila (New Guinea Vesi (Fiji Islands), Ipil
(Philippines), Merbau (Malaya).
Distribution: Indo-Malayan region,
Indonesia, Philippines, and many of the western Pacific islands as well as
Australia. May be locally common in lowland forests, transition zones behind
The Tree: A large tree often with a
rather short, thick bole, sometimes to 50 ft, often fluted; trunk diameters to 5
ft above large spreading buttresses.
General Characteristics: Heartwood
yellowish to orange brown when freshly cut, turning brown or dark red brown on
exposure; sapwood pale yellow to light buff, sharply demarcated from the
heartwood. Texture rather coarse; grain straight to interlocked or wavy; luster
variable; has a characteristic odor when dry material is worked, and an
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry
weight/green volume) 0.68; air-dry density 50 pcf.
Working Properties: Rather
difficult to saw because of gumming of teeth and dulling of cutting edges,
dresses smoothly in most operations, finishes well. Stains black in the presence
of iron and moisture.
Durability: Heartwood has an
average service life of 6 years in Malayan stake tests but generally reputed to
have good durability; highly resistant to termite attack. Sapwood prone to
powder-post beetle attack.
Preservation: Heartwood is
impermeable, but sapwood is treatable.
Uses: Flooring, furniture,
paneling, fine joinery, decorative turnery, cabinetmaking, musical instruments,
specialty items. The wood is also a dye source.