Chinta Mula


The common Malaysian name for the timber of Erythroxylum spp. (Erythroxylaceae). The ASEAN Standard Name for the timber, which is of Indonesian origin, is MERPITAS. Vernacular names applied include ketai mula (Peninsular Malaysia), perapat burong (Sabah) and seri mula (Peninsular Malaysia). Major species include E. cuneatum. The sapwood is light yellow-brown and is sharply differentiated from the heartwood, which is rose-brown.

Also known as Asau, Djenging, Kibeureum, Merpitas, Merpitis, Piling, Tailan and Tebakau putih (Indonesia); and Manambo (Philippines).


The timber is hard and moderately heavy to heavy with a density of 720-1,010 kg/m3 air dry.


The timber is reputed to be fairly durable.


Texture is rather fine and even, with straight or shallowly interlocked grain.


The timber is reported to saw and work well although the cutter knives are blunted rapidly due to the presence of abundant crystals in the timber.


The small and gnarled stems of this species preclude any extensive utilisation of the timber. The straighter trees may be suitable for fence posts and poles.


  1. Wong, T. M. 1982. A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. & Chung, R. C. K. Malayan Forest Record No. 30. Forest Research Institute Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. 201 pp.