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RENGAS (Gluta wallichii)

Trade Name


Scientific Name

Gluta wallichii (Hook.f.) Ding Hou



Common Names

Rengas (United States of America); Rengas merah (Indonesia); Rengas (United Kingdom); Thitsi (Myanmar); Rengas perau (Indonesia); Rengas pendek (Indonesia); Rak (Thailand); Rengas (Sweden); Son (Vietnam); Borneo rosewood (United Kingdom); Rengas (Spain); Rengas (Netherlands); Rengas (Malaysia); Gluta (India); Rengas (France); Rengas (Italy); Rengas (Indonesia); Rengas (Sarawak); Rengas betul (Indonesia); Rengas (Germany)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Melanorrhoea woodsiana Scort. Ex King; Melanorrhoea wallichii Hook.f.; Melanorrhoea maingayi Hook.f.

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

It is a large evergreen tree, up to 45 m tall and 90 cm in diameter. Buttresses up to 4 m high are reported. This species yields a latex which is made into black lacquer, it is also poisonous and causes severe skin irritation.

Natural Habitat

It is widely distributed in mixed dipterocarp forests and swamp forests, up to 1,000 m of altitude. In Malaysia it is common on hillsides, in Sumatra it is co-dominant in peat swamp forests.

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Wood Identification

Anatomic Description Of Wood

Wood diffuse porous. Tangential diameter of vessel lumina 200 micras or more (large). Tyloses common. Vessels per mm2 less than 6 (rare). Simple perforation plates. Vessel-ray pits similar to intervessel pits in size and shape. Axial parenchyma in marginal or in seemingly marginal bands. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and/or vasicentric. Axial parenchyma aliform. Axial parenchyma confluent. Rays less than 4 per mm (rare). Body ray cells procumbent with one row of upright and/or square marginal cells (Kribs-III). Septate fibers present. Fibers with distinctly bordered pits.

  • Wood Macro Photo Radial Plane
  • Wood Micro Photo Of Transversal Section


Cites Status


General Wood Description


The sapwood is clearly differentiated, white to pale yellow. The heartwood is dark reddish brown or deep blood red shiny marked with dark streaks.

COLOR INDEX (1=Black, 7=Light yellow,white)



It is partly straight, partly wavy, interlocked.


Texture is mostly fine to medium.


The wood surface is moderate in luster.

Natural Durability

The sapwood rapidly discolors and attacked by insects if unprotected.

Natural durability index (1= Very high durability, 7=Vey low durability)


Resistance To Impregnation

It is difficult to impregnate.

Wood Physical Properties

Basic Density or Specific Gravity (O.D. weight/vol. green) (g/cm³)


Air-dry Density (Weight and volume at 12%MC) (g/cm³)


Drying Defects

Ease of Drying: Air seasoning is reported without degrade. Boards of 13 mm and 38 mm thick take respectively 2.5 months and 3.5 months to air dry.

Wood Chemical Properties

Wood Mechanical Properties



Cutting resistance is generally low.

Rotary Veneer Cutting

For good results in slicing, steaming is required.

Sliced Veneer

For good results in slicing, steaming is required.


It is easy to machine.




This species is reported to have a good nailing behavior.


The timber is reported to glue well.


Wood of this species is easy to finish.


End Uses Summary

HOUSING GENERAL, beams, flooring, FURNITURE AND CABINETS, luxury furniture, PLYWOOD AND VENEER, faces, Decorative veneer, TURNING, TOOLS, tool handles, NAVAL CONSTRUCTION, OTHER AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, handicrafts

General Housing
  • 10 - Silica in Timbers
  • 11 - Prospect: The wood database
  • 14 - Handbook of Hardwoods
Furniture Cabinets
  • 21 - Tropical timbers of the world. Part III-Southeast Asian and Oceanian Species.
Furniture, Luxury
  • 22 - Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods. Temperate and tropical. Section IV-Asian and Oceanian Woods
Panels, Veneers
  • 25 - Directory of Timber Trade Malaysia
  • 26 - Annual Review and Assessment of the World Timber Situation 1998-ITTO
Decorative veneer
  • 28 - Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest of Fiji
  • 30 - Embassy of Honduras in Japan
  • 42 - Utilización Industrial de Nuevas Especies Forestales en el Perú.
Tool Handles
  • 43 - Maderas de Bolivia (Características y Usos de 55 Maderas Tropicales)
  • 55 - Tropical Timber Atlas of Latin America
  • 66 - Maderas latinoamericanas. VII. Caracteristicas anatomicas. propiedades fisicomecanicas, de secado, y tratabilidad de la madera juvenil de Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav. Oken.)

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