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TANJUNG (Mimusops elengi)

Trade Name


Scientific Name

Mimusops elengi L.



Common Names

Karikis (Indonesia); Mengkula (Malaysia); Phikun (Thailand); Kaeo (Thailand); Kun (Thailand); Phi koun (Laos); Sa koun (Laos); Kaya (Myanmar); Bakiki (Philippines); Bansalagin (Philippines); Nyatoh batu (Sabah); Asian bulletwood; Elengi (Malaysia); Bitis (Malaysia); Tanjung laut (Indonesia); Tanjung (Indonesia); Tanjung (France); Bukal (France); Betis (Philippines)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Mimusops parvifolia R. Br.; Mimusops elengi var. parvifolia (R. Br.) H.J. Lam; Kaukenia elengi (L.) Kuntze

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

It is an evergreen, small to medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall. The bole is often short and divided into several large main branches but sometimes branchless for up to 15 m, up to 100 cm in diameter. The buttresses are absent or up to 2 m high.

Natural Habitat

This species is fairly common near the seashore, but it is also found in rocky locations and inland forests up to 600 m of altitude

Natural Distribution

It is well distributed in India, South-east Asia, New Guinea and the Pacific area, mainly on seashore, but planted in villages as well.

Plantations Available?

Plantations of this species have been established in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It is commonly planted in Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Australia and many other tropical countries.

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Wood Identification

Anatomic Description Of Wood

Wood diffuse porous. Vessels in radial multiples of 4 or more common. Occasionally tyloses common. Vessels per mm2 5 to 20. Vessels per mm2 more than 20 (very abundant). Vessel-ray pits reticulate and/or foraminate. Simple perforation plates. Intervessel pits me Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and/or diffuse in aggregates. Occasionally apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and/or diffuse in aggregates. Siliceous bodies in the axial parenchyma cells. Over 9 cells per parenchyma strand. Axial parenchyma in narrow b 4 to 10 rays per mm (medium). Silica bodies in the ray cells. Body ray cells procumbent with mostly 2 to 4 rows of upright and/or square marginal cells (Kribs-II). Fibers very thick walled. Fibers with simple to minutely bordered pits.

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


Cites Status


General Wood Description


It has no distinct odor but a bitter taste is reported.


The sapwood is somewhat lighter shade than heartwood, not clearly demarcated. The heartwood is pinkish, deep red to dark reddish-brown.

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



The grain is straight, wavy or slightly interlocked.


The wood is typically fine in texture.

Natural Durability

The wood is very durable, even when exposed to the weather or in contact with the ground. It is reportedly resistant to marine borer attack and to dry-wood termites.

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


Silica Content

Silica Content: This timber is reported to have silica. Silica contents over 0.05% may affect wood processing. Silica Value: 0

Resistance To Impregnation

It is impermeable to preservatives.

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)


Total shrinkage Tangential (Saturated to 0%MC) (%)


Total shrinkage Radial (Saturated to 0%MC) (%)


Drying Defects

Ease of Drying: Kelat timber air dries slowly to very slowly. In Malaysia boards 15 mm thick are reported to dry in 5 months. Drying Defects: The timber is liable to end-splitting and checking. Kiln Schedules: Kiln drying requires a mild schedule. Pre-drying before kilning is advised to prevent serious degrade.

Dimensional stability ratio (Total Tangential Shrinkage %/Total Radial Shrinkage %)


Wood Chemical Properties

Wood Mechanical Properties

Bending Strength (MOR),12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Stiffness (MOE) 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Compression parallel to fiber 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Compression perpendicular to fiber 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Shear strength radial 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Janka hardness (side) 12%MC (kgf)


Janka hardness (end grain) 12%MC (kgf)




The wood is considered rather difficult to difficult to saw due to the presence of silica. It is easier to cut when still green.

Rotary Veneer Cutting

This timber is reported to be suitable for lamination.

Sliced Veneer

This timber is reported to be suitable for lamination.


The wood is generally considered rather difficult to difficult to work due to the presence of silica, but it is easier to work when still green.




It finishes very well using sharp tools.


End Uses Summary

EXTERIOR GENERAL, bridges, poles, paling, stakes posts, crossties, HOUSING GENERAL, flooring, frames, FURNITURE AND CABINETS, cabinets, PLYWOOD AND VENEER, TURNING, SPORTS, TOOLS, tool handles, agricultural tools, CONTAINERS, truck bodies, truck flooring, NAVAL CONSTRUCTION, boats, port pillar, port storage, OTHER AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, handicrafts, axle

Exterior General
  • 1 - Tabela de resultados de ensaios fisicos e mecanicos
  • 2 - 25 madeiras da amazonia de valor comercial, caracterizacao, macroscopica, usos comuns e indices qualificativos
  • 3 - Estudo dendrologico e determinacao das caracteristicas fisicas e mecanicas do genipapo (Genipa americana)
Paling Fence Pickets
  • 4 - Estudo dendrologico e determinacao das caracteristicas fisicas e mecanicas da bicuiba
Stake Posts
  • 5 - Propriedades fisicas e mecanicas da madeira e do contraplacado de Pinus elliottii
  • 8 - Maderas latinoamericas. III, Podocarpus standleyi ,Podocarpus oleifolius, Drims granadensis, Magnolia poasana y Didymopanax pittieri
General Housing
  • 10 - Silica in Timbers
  • 14 - Handbook of Hardwoods
  • 16 - Woods of the World
Furniture Cabinets
  • 21 - Tropical timbers of the world. Part III-Southeast Asian and Oceanian Species.
  • 24 - Empire Timbers
Panels, Veneers
  • 25 - Directory of Timber Trade Malaysia
  • 30 - Embassy of Honduras in Japan
  • 38 - Annual Review and Assessment of the World Timber Situation 1998-ITTO
  • 42 - Utilización Industrial de Nuevas Especies Forestales en el Perú.
Tool Handles
  • 43 - Maderas de Bolivia (Características y Usos de 55 Maderas Tropicales)
Agricultural Tools
  • 44 - Atlas of Peruvian Woods
Truck Body
  • 53 - Timbers of the New World
Truck Flooring
  • 54 - Bulletin of the Government Forest Experiment Station N.157: Identification of Tropical Woods
  • 55 - Tropical Timber Atlas of Latin America
  • 56 - Manual de Identificación de Especies Forestales de la Subregión Andina.
Port Pillar
  • 61 - Manual de Diseño para Maderas del Grupo Andino
Port Storage
  • 62 - Estudio Tecnológico de Maderas del Perú (Zona Pucallpa) Vol I
Other & Musical Instruments
  • 63 - Madeiras do Brazil II
  • 66 - Maderas latinoamericanas. VII. Caracteristicas anatomicas. propiedades fisicomecanicas, de secado, y tratabilidad de la madera juvenil de Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav. Oken.)
  • 73 - Handbook of Hardwoods

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