Hopea odorata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Hopea odorata Roxb.

Protologue: Pl. Coromandel 3: 7, t. 210 (1819).

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: merawan siput jantan, chengal pasir, chengal mas (Peninsular)
  • Burma: thingan, net, sauchi
  • Cambodia: kôki:(r) mosau, kôki:(r) thmâr:(r)
  • Laos: (maiz) kh'è:n, kh'èn h'üa
  • Thailand: takhian-thong, takhian-yai (general), khaen (north-eastern)
  • Vietnam: sao den, sao bã mía, sao cát.


Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, southern Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Andaman Islands and northern Peninsular Malaysia.


The timber is used as merawan. The wood is suitable for rollers in the textile industry, piles, and bridge construction and as an alternative to maple for shoe and boot lasts. H. odorata is sometimes used as a shade tree. The bark has a high tannin content, and is suitable for tanning leather; it also produces an inferior quality dammar ("rock dammar"). The Burmese use this dammar as a varnish over paint, and associate it with paint in pictures; they are said to mix it with ink. It is also used to caulk boats. The dammar is medicinally applied to sores and wounds. In Indo-China the bark has been used as a masticatory.


  • A medium-sized to large tree of up to 45 m tall, bole straight, cylindrical, branchless for up to 25 m, with a diameter of up to 120 cm and prominent buttresses, bark surface scaly, dark brown, outer bark rather thick, inner bark dull yellow, tinged green at the cambium, sapwood resinous; young parts sparsely pale buff puberulent.
  • Leaves ovate-lanceolate, 7-14 cm × 3-7 cm, falcate, base broadly cuneate, unequal, acumen broad, up to 1.5 cm long, venation scalariform, midrib applanate to slightly channelled above, secondary veins 9-12 pairs, prominent beneath, arched, with prominent saccate axillary domatia.
  • Stamens 15, anthers narrowly ellipsoid, ovary ovoid, punctate or glabrous, surmounted by an equally tall columnar style.
  • 2 longer fruit calyx lobes up to 5.5 cm × 2 cm, broadly spatulate, saccate, 3 shorter ones up to 4 mm × 4 mm, ovate, subacuminate.

H. odorata is a riparian species and usually occurs on deep rich soils up to 600 m altitude. The density of the wood is 620-930 kg/m3 at 15% moisture content.

Selected sources

102, 150, 235, 253, 258, 324, 358, 359, 503, 599, 600, 601, 628, 677, 685, 748.

Main genus page


  • K.M. Kochummen (selection of species),
  • F.T. Frietema (selection of species)