Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Shorea spp., subg. Rubroshorea (Red Balau)

Nomenclature etc. DIPTEROCARPACEAE. S. balangeran (Korth.) Burck, S. collina Ridl., S. guiso (Blco.) Bl. (Syn.: S. vulgaris Pierre ex Lanessan, S. longipetala Foxw., Dipterocarpus guiso Blanco, Anisoptera guiso A.DC.), S. kunstleri King, S. ochrophloia E.J.S. ex Sym.,. Trade and local names: red balau (DE, MY), gujio (PH), semayur (MY-Sar), belangeran (ID), selangan batu merah (MY-sab/sar.). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indomalesia.

General. Heartwood basically brown to red (dark). Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.75–0.92 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 125–190–255 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 2–4. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–10 µm, vestured and not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders or with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits, rounded or angular or horizontal to vertical, of the same type in adjacent elements or unilaterally compound and coarse. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids commonly present. Fibres very thick-walled. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded (axial resin canals embedded in parenchyma bands). Axial parenchyma bands not marginal (or seemingly marginal). Axial parenchyma rarely apotracheal, or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, aliform, and unilateral. Aliform parenchyma lozenge. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6.

Rays. Rays 4–8 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 cells wide. Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm, or commonly over 1000 µm. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells or mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells or with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, rays not storied, axial parenchyma storied.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals present, axial type, in long tangential lines and in short tangential lines.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered and not chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Crystal containing cells of normal size and enlarged (idioblasts). Shorea guiso belongs to the subgenus Shorea but is traded as Red Balau because of its red colour; crystalliferous chambered parenchyma cells are abundant in this species as opposed to the others described herein. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water.

Illustrations. • Wood surface. Shorea pauciflora. Tangential. Radial. • Transverse section. Shorea kunstleri. • Tangential section. Shorea kunstleri. • Radial section. Shorea kunstleri.

The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2000 onwards. Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Version: 25th June 2009.’.