Scientific Name:

Gluta spp. and Melanochyla spp. (Family: Anacardiaceae)  

General Description:

Medium Hardwood. The major species contributing to the timber include Gluta aptera, G. elegans, G. malayana, G. renghas, G. torquata, G. wallichii, G. wrayi; Melanochyla auriculata, M. bracteata, M. caesia and M. fulvinervis. Also known as Rengas (Brunei); Kroeul (Cambodia); Gluta (India); Anga, Poei and Rengas (Indonesia); Mai nam kiang (Laos); Burma Gluta, Chay, Thayet-thitsi and Thitsi (Myanmar); Hekakoro (Papua New Guinea); Lingas (Philippines); and Rak and Rak-ban (Thailand).  

Timber Description:

  • Density: 640-960 kg/m3
  • Heartwood: dark red-brown or deep blood-red, with bands of darker, almost black streaks
  • Sapwood: light pink-brown or light brown

Spot Characters:

  • moderately durable, being susceptible to termite attacks
  • texture is moderately coarse to fairly fine and even, with interlocked or occasionally straight grain
  • nailing property is rated as excellent
  • the logs of rengas are generally free from defects except for few heart shakes


Due to the poisonous nature of the sap, the timber is not very often exploited. The seasoned timber, however, is quite safe to handle and is highly prized as a cabinet wood due to its streaky figure and blood-red colour. The timber is also suitable for decorative works, panelling, mouldings, superior joinery, picture frames, flooring, plywood, furniture, railway sleepers, posts, beams, joists, rafters, pallets (permanent light duty), door and window frames and sills (internal use), tool handles (impact), ornamental items and walking sticks. The timber is strong enough for medium construction provided it is protected from termites.