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WHITE ALMOND (Alphitonia excelsa)

Trade Name

White almond

Scientific Name

Alphitonia excelsa Reissek ex Endl.



Common Names

Laurika (Indonesia); Tangulai (Philippines); Alangsohan (Philippines); Coopers wood; Pokudita (Malaysia); Tulo (Philippines); Balik-angin (Malaysia); Kole (Indonesia); Kayu daun babalik (Indonesia); White ash; Red ash; Pati yata (Malaysia)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Alphitonia philippinensis Braid.; Alphitonia moluccana Teijsm. & Binnend.; Alphitonia incana (Roxb.) Kurz ex hoogland

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

It is a small to medium-sized tree rarely up to 30 m high. The bole is straight up to 20 m high.

Natural Habitat

It grows in disturbed or secondary forests, up to 2,500 m of altitude. In Papua New Guinea it is reported in dry savanna, in Australia it is occasionally found on very poor sandy soils.

Non Timber Uses

The wood is suitable for chemical pulping having a high pulp yield and requiring comparatively few chemicals. The bark shows antibacterial activity. In a local level it is used for soap and rope production.

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Wood Identification

Anatomic Description Of Wood

Wood diffuse porous. Occasionally tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100 micras or less. Vessels per mm2 5 to 20. Simple perforation plates. Vessel-ray pits similar to intervessel pits in size and shape. Intervessel pits medium, 7 to 10 micras. Intervessel pi Occasionally apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and/or diffuse in aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and/or vasicentric. Occasionally prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells and/or in fibers. 5 to 8 cells per parenchyma strand. 4 to 10 rays per mm (medium). Rays more than 10 per mm (abundant). Occasionally rays exclusively uniseriate. Prismatic crystals in radial alignment in procumbent ray cells (chambered cells). Occasionally body ray cells procumbent with mostly 2 to 4 rows of up Fibers very thin walled. Occasionally fibers with distinctly bordered pits. Fibers with simple to minutely bordered pits.

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


Cites Status


General Wood Description


The wood presents a smell resembling sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.)


The heartwood is pink-brown, sapwood is straw-colored.

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


Natural Durability

This species is reportedly moderately durable. The sapwood is resistant against Lyctus.

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


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: Air seasoning is reported to be easy and rapid, without seriously degrade. Drying Defects: It often darkens considerately on drying. Kiln drying may result in slight warping and splitting. Kiln Schedules: Schedule recommended for Lampati. For lighter color timbers USDF schedule T10-D5S or UK schedule J are recommended.

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


Wood Chemical Properties

Wood Mechanical Properties



Workability of this species is good despite the presence of interlocked grain.


It is reported to plane easily, giving a highly lustrous polish.




End Uses Summary

HOUSING GENERAL, flooring, FURNITURE AND CABINETS, cabinets, PLYWOOD AND VENEER, TURNING, TOOLS, tool handles, CONTAINERS, cooperage, truck bodies, truck flooring, OTHER AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, moldings

General Housing
  • 10 - Silica in Timbers
  • 14 - Handbook of Hardwoods
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
  • 42 - Utilización Industrial de Nuevas Especies Forestales en el Perú.
Tool Handles
  • 43 - Maderas de Bolivia (Características y Usos de 55 Maderas Tropicales)
  • 50 - Properties of imported tropical woods
  • 51 - Recopilacion de propiedades mecanicas de maderas creciendo en Chile
Truck Body
  • 53 - Timbers of the New World
Truck Flooring
  • 54 - Bulletin of the Government Forest Experiment Station N.157: Identification of Tropical Woods
  • 79 - Padronização da Nomenclatura Comercial Brasileira das Madeiras Tropicais Amazônicas, Sugestão

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