Herbs & Plants

Shorea macrophylla

Botanical Name: Shorea macrophylla
Family: Dipterocarpaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Genus: Shorea
Species: S. macrophylla

Synonyms: Hopea macrophylla de Vriese Pachychlamys gysbertsiana Ridl. Shorea bakeriana Heim Shorea gysbertsian

Common Names: Light Red Meranti, Engkabang, False Ilipe Nut

Habitat: Shorea macrophylla is native to Southeast Asia – Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia (the tree is endemic to the island of Borneo). A canopy tree, locally abundant in mixed dipterocarp forest, growing on clay-rich periodically flooded alluvium and river banks, uncommon on hillsides, at elevations below 600 metres.

Shorea macrophylla is an evergreen Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a fast rate.


A plant of lowland areas in the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 600 metres. Plants are tolerant of periodically inundated soils. This species is one of the fastest growing trees in the genus. Yields of 1,138 kg/ha of dried kernels have been reported. The tree does not start to bear fruit until it is 18 – 25 years old.

Edible Uses: An edible fat obtained from the seeds has similar uses to Cacao butter (obtained from Theobroma spp.)

Medicinal Uses:
An edible fat obtained from the seed is easily absorbed by the skin. It can be used to treat skin problems and is often used as a carrier to apply other substances to the skin.

Other Uses:
The seeds of many species in this genus, including this species, yield an oil that has an unusually high melting point and is solid at room temperature. Average yields range from 45 – 70% according to species. The fat is somewhat similar to Cacao butter (obtained from Theobroma spp.) and can be used in a variety of ways, often combined with cacao butter. In addition to it being edible, it has medicinal uses and can be used in making soap, candles, polishes and cosmetics. The obovoid seeds are around 6cm long and 4cm wide. The tree provides a high quality timber. The wood is a source of ‘Light Red Meranti’. We do not have any more specific information, but a general description of light red meranti follows:- The heartwood is light red to pink or pink-brown, with white resin streaks; it is clearly demarcated from the 5 – 8cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain interlocked with a ribbon-like aspect; the surface is lustrous. The wood is light in weight, soft, moderately durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, somewhat resistant to fungi and susceptible to termites. The wood seasons well with a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is stable to moderately stable in service. The wood works well with normal tools, though the tools need to be kept sharp because it has a tendency towards woolliness; it generally finishes fairly well, though filling is recommended; screwing and nailing are good; gluing is correct. The wood is used for several purposes including interior and exterior panelling and joinery, light carpentry, boxes and crates, veneer etc.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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