Scientific Name:

Mesua ferrea (Family: Guttiferae)  

General Description:

Heavy Hardwood, 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.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).  

Timber Description:

  • Density: 945-1,185 kg/m3
  • Heartwood: red-brown with a purple tinge when fresh, becoming dark red-brown 
  • Sapwood:pale yellow with a pink tinge, becoming grey-brown

Spot Characters:

  • moderately durable and is liable to be attacked by termites
  • texture is rather fine and even, with interlocked or spiral grain
  • nailing property is rated as very poor


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.