Meranti – Shorea spp.

Meranti AKA Meranti dark, Meranti Light


Meranti Wood Appearance

Colour – The heartwood varies from pale pink to dark red in the light and dark red groups and from white through straw to yellow-white groups.  Sapwood cannot always be reliably identified by colour difference.

Grain – Moderately coarse textured with a quarter sawn materials often displaying an attractive ribbon figure.

Meranti Wood Properties

Density – Variable, depending on the group: Dark Red - 670 kg/m3 Light Red - 560 kg/m3 White - 705 kg/m3 Yellow - 660 kg/m3

Durability – Class 4 – Suitable for use only in continuously dry situations under cover, well ventilated, clear of the ground and fully protected from the weather and other dampness.

Hardness – Firm to Soft (rated 4 and 5 on a 6 class scale) in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools

Meranti Identification Features

Sapwood – Sometimes, but not always, lighter in colour than heartwood.

Heartwood – Colour varies from white or yellow through to light red or pink-brown

Texture – Rather coarse but even

Meranti Wood Structure

Growth rings – Absent

Vessels – Moderately large with simple perforation, few or moderately few in number, mostly solitary, some in oblique or radial pairs or radial multiples up to 4 in a series; diffuse, occasional clusters. Tyloses present; vessel deposits absent.

Wood Parenchyma – Paratracheal parenchyma is incomplete, narrow vasicentric, aliform or occasionally locally confluent. Apotocheal parenchyma as irregular spaced bands enclosing resin canals and as diffuse strands, often as short, narrow lines between the rays.

Rays – Medium to fine, may be visible without a lens; may be conspicuous on radial surfaces

Intercellular Canals – Longitudinal canals often prominent in concentric series; distinctly visible without a lens in cross-section and longitudinal section; canals plugged with white coloured resin.

Meranti Other Features

Burning Splinter Test –Variable between species; some burn to an ash, others burn leaving no ash.

NOTE: Many species are marketed as meranti but there is considerable variation in the above features between species.