The common Malaysian name which is of Sabah origin and adopted here for the timber of Dysoxylum spp. (Meliaceae). The ASEAN Standard Name for the timber, which is of Indonesian origin, is MEMBALUN. Vernacular names applied include buahan-buahan (Sabah). Major species include D. acutangulum, D. arborescens, D. cauliflorum, D. grande, D. alliaceum and D. cyrtobotryum. The sapwood is light yellow and is moderately sharply differentiated from the heartwood, which is orange-red or brick-red and darkens on exposure. The sawdust of some species may cause irritation to mucous membrane.
Also known as Rose mahogany and Stavewood (Australia); Houn dang and Moreas preou phnom (Cambodia); Devdam, Gendelipoma and White cedar (India); Cempaga, Djampanga, Kingugula, Kondongio motaha, Kondongio poete, Lauan, Lingkoboe poete, Membalun, Taloesa-loesa, Tjempaga and Wandeboka poete (Indonesia); Khon ta sang and Mai chuang leunag (Laos); Miva mahogany, Red dysox and Spur mahogany (Papua New Guinea); Igyo, Kayatau and Miau (Philippines); Ta suea (Thailand); and Chac-khe and Huynh duong (Vietnam).
The timber is moderately hard to hard and moderately heavy to heavy with a density of 590-910 kg/m3 air dry.
It is moderately durable to non-durable when exposed to the weather or in contact with the ground.
The timber is readily treated with preservative.
Texture is moderately fine to slightly coarse and uneven, due to the presence of abundant wood parenchyma. Grain is interlocked and sometimes irregular.
The timber has not been tested at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), but tests on related species in India showed that the timber is strong (Strength Group B).
The timber is reputed to be easy to saw and machine and produces a smooth finish.
It seasons well with moderate shrinkage but may check and twist slightly. Preliminary drying is recommended for boards over 50 mm thick.
The timber is suitable for medium to heavy construction, planking, solid door, flooring, panelling, mouldings, partitioning, high grade furniture, wooden pallets and plywood.
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.