Scientific Name:

 Hopea spp. (Family: Dipterocarpaceae)  

General Description:

Medium Hardwood. The timber is usually mixed with the lighter species of Shorea and sold as selangan batu No. 2 in Sabah. Major species of merawan include H. beccariana, H. dryobalanoides, H. dyeir, H. ferruginea, H. glaucescens, H. griffithii, H. latifolia, H. mengarawan, H. montana, H. myrtifolia, H. nervosa, H. odorata, H. pierrei, H. pubescens, H. sangal, H. sublanceolata and H. sulcata. Also known as Merawan (Brunei); Koki khsach, Koki:r, Popel and Popel mosau (Cambodia); Hopea and Thingan (India); Dammar mata kuching, Gagil and Merawan (Indonesia); Khe:n and Mai khaen heua (Laos); Thingan (Myanmar); Light hopea (Papua New Guinea); Manggachapui (Philippines); Chan-phu, Takhian-Tong, Takian and Takian–Thong (Thailand); and Kien-kien and Sao den (Vietnam).  

Timber Description:

  • Density: 495-980 kg/m3
  • Heartwood: yellow when fresh but darkens to light brown or red-brown on exposure
  • Sapwood: generally lighter in colour and poorly defined from the heartwood

Spot Characters:

  • moderately durable under exposed conditions. It is especially resistant to fungal infection under normal conditions. The sapwood is susceptible to heavy damage by termites and in damp situations by fungus
  • texture is moderately fine and even, with interlocked grain
  • nailing property is rated as very poor
  • Hollow and spongy heart are the common defects found in many merawan logs although they are not nearly as extensive as in most red merantis. Compression failures are found in the areas with spongy heart (Thomas, 1970). The timber of some species ( sulcata, H. myrtifolia, H. dyeri andH. mengarawan) has been found to be very susceptible to damage by ambrosia beetles, whereas the timber of other species appears to be resistant (Desch, 1941). Most species of merawan are immune to powder-post beetle attacks, while other species are moderately susceptible (Menon, 1957). The sapwood of all species is liable to sapstain infection


The timber is suitable for rafters, joists, door and window frames and sills (internal use), panelling, mouldings, partitioning, joinery, furniture, plywood, flooring, decking, staircase (angle blocks, rough bracket, baluster, balustrade, carriage, newel, riser, spandrel framing, stringer, tread, bullnose, round end and winder), columns (light duty), railway sleepers, vehicle bodies (framework, floor boards and planking), ship and boat building (keels, keelsons, framework and general planking), cooling tower (structural members) and tool handles (non impact). The heavier species are suitable for heavy construction under cover.