The Standard Malaysian Name as well as the ASEAN Standard Name for the timber of Mesua ferrea (Guttiferae). Vernacular names applied include lenggapus (Peninsular Malaysia) and matopus (Peninsular Malaysia). This timber is mainly from one species, viz. Mesua ferrea. The sapwood is pale yellow with a pink tinge, becoming grey-brown on exposure and is sharply differentiated from the heartwood, which is red-brown with a purple tinge when fresh, becoming dark red-brown on exposure.

Also known as Bosneak (Cambodia); Mesua (India); Nagasari (Indonesia); Ka thang and Mai lek (Laos); Gangaw and Ngaw (Myanmar); Na (Sri Lanka); Bannak and Bunnak (Thailand); and Vap(Vietnam).


The timber is very hard and very heavy with a density of 945-1,185 kg/m3 air dry. The timber is classified under Heavy Hardwood in Malaysia.


The timber is moderately durable and is liable to be attacked by termites.


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


The timber falls into Strength Group A (Engku, 1988b) or SG 1 (MS 544:Part 2:2001).


It is slightly difficult to difficult to resaw and cross-cut but is easy to plane, producing a smooth finish.


The nailing property is rated as very poor.


The timber seasons very slowly with a moderate amount of end-checking and splitting and slight cupping as the main sources of degrade. 13 mm thick boards take approximately 7 months to air dry, while 38 mm thick boards take 8 months.


Shrinkage is very high, especially in the radial direction, which averages 4.3%, while the tangential shrinkage averages 5.5%.


The timber is suitable for all forms of heavy construction, heavy duty furniture, flooring (heavy traffic), posts, beams, joists, rafters, joinery, cabinet making, pallets (permanent and heavy duty type), tool handles (impact), staircase (angle block, rough bracket, carriage, newel, riser, stringer, tread, bullnose, round end and winder), columns (heavy duty) as well as telegraphic and power trasmission posts and cross arms. In India, this timber has been used successfully as railway sleepers.


  1. Engku Abdul Rahman Chik. 1988b. Basic And Grade Stresses For Some Malaysian Timbers. Malayan Forest Service Trade Leaflet No. 38. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board And Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 13 pp.
  2. Menon, P. K. B. 1986. Uses of Some Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. Timber Trade Leaflet No. 31. The Malaysian Timber Industry Board and Forest Research Insitute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. 48 pp.
  3. 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.