Manglietia (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Manglietia Blume

Protologue: Verh. Bat. Genootsch. Kunsten 9: 149 (1823).
Family: Magnoliaceae
Chromosome number: x= 19; M. glauca (and many other non-Malesian species): 2n= 38

Vernacular names

  • Chempaka (trade name)
  • Indonesia: baros (general).

Origin and geographic distribution

Manglietia comprises about 25 species and is distributed from the eastern Himalayas to Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda Islands. Within Malesia 5 species occur.


The good quality wood of Manglietia is used for house and bridge building, furniture, cement-bonded board, veneer and plywood. In Bali the wood of M. glauca is popular for making handicrafts and carvings.

In West Java M. glauca has been used for reforestation and in Vietnam it showed good potential in agroforestry.

Production and international trade

Some of the wood of Manglietia will probably be traded together with that of other Magnoliaceae genera as "chempaka". A plantation of M. glauca exists on Bali, presumably for local consumption.


Manglietia yields a lightweight to medium-weight hardwood with a density of 320-580 kg/m3at 15% moisture content. Heartwood yellow-brown to pale green-brown or pale brown, clearly differentiated from the sapwood; grain straight or slightly interlocked; texture moderately fine. Growth rings moderately distinct to indistinct; vessels moderately small to medium-sized, solitary and in radial multiples of 2-5(-6), rarely in clusters, occasionally in tangential arrangement, tyloses rare; parenchyma apotracheal in marginal and mostly narrow bands; rays very fine to moderately fine, barely visible due to the lack of contrast with the fibres; ripple marks absent.

The wood seasons moderately slowly, i.e. about 4 months were required to air dry a board of 40 mm thick. The wood is soft, not strong and is easy to work. The wood is moderately durable and moderately resistant to termites.

The average fibre length of M. glauca is 1.702 mm.

See also the tables on microscopic wood anatomy and wood properties.


  • Small to medium-sized or fairly large trees up to 40 m tall; bole columnar, branchless for up to 25 m, up to 150 cm in diameter, sometimes with small buttresses; bark surface smooth, lenticellate, greenish or greyish-brown; crown dense, rounded.
  • Leaves arranged spirally, simple, entire; stipules adnate to or free from the petiole.
  • Flowers terminal, solitary, large; tepals 9-13, in 3 whorls, yellow to white; stamens many, arranged spirally, anthers with a long or short appendage; gynoecium sessile, with many, spirally arranged carpels which are free but often connate when young, ovules 4 or more in each carpel.
  • Fruiting carpels free, woody, dehiscing along the dorsal and sometimes also the ventral sutures.
  • Seeds 2 or more, hanging from a long funicle.
  • Seedling with epigeal germination; cotyledons emergent, leafy; hypocotyl elongated; all leaves arranged spirally.

In natural forest in West Java seedlings of M. glauca showed increments of up to 6 cm in diameter and up to 9 m in height over a period of 5 years. Growth is sympodial. The flowers are protogynous and pollinated by beetles which feed on the stigmas, pollen, nectar and secretion of the petals. In Java M. glauca has been observed with flowers and fruits all year round. M. calophylla flowers in October, M. dolichogyna in March-May and M. lanuginosa in February.


Manglietia is found scattered but may be locally common in primary, evergreen, lowland to montane rain forest, at 450-2400 m altitude.

Silviculture Manglietia can be propagated by seed. M. glauca has about 41 500 dry seeds without pulp per kg. Seeds can be stored for a maximum of 5 weeks and during the first 2 weeks of storage the germination rate increases. Seeds which float in water should be discarded, the remainder are sown in the shade. Seeds of M. dolichogyna with adhering pulp show about 60% germination in 14-48 days and seeds of M. glauca have 55-70% germination. In Java M. glauca has been planted at 3 m × 1-1.5 m and a rotation of 35 years is recommended. During this rotation the mean annual volume increment is estimated at 12.1 m3/ha. Natural regeneration of M. glauca in West Java at 1100-1500 m altitude was optimal in open and slightly shaded locations. In Vietnam defoliation by a Schizocera species has been observed in M. glauca .

Genetic resources and breeding

Resources of M. glauca are dwindling in Bali due to its use for handicrafts.


It is expected that the use of Manglietia wood, especially that of M. glauca , for carving will increase since growth rates are fairly high and the wood is of good quality. However, information on plantation establishment and yield is still scanty.


9, 58, 70, 94, 99, 101, 130, 161, 163, 170, 198, 260, 341, 373, 405, 436, 441, 485, 593, 634, 670, 738, 829, 831, 838, 848, 850, 861, 869, 870, 908, 1089.