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Shorea javanica - Koord. & Valeton

Common Name Dammar, White meranti
Family Dipterocarpaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Primary and secondary forest on dry or periodically inundated places on flat land or on slopes at elevations up to 300 metres, occasionally to 500 metres[303 ].
Range Southeast Asia - Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Shorea javanica Dammar, White meranti

Shorea javanica Dammar, White meranti


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Shorea javanica is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Thrips, Insects. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Shorea vandekoppelii Parijs

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

A resin obtained from the tree is used as a food additive[418 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The roots are well fortified by typical mycorrhizal association, which enables them to absorb and accumulate nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium more rapidly and for longer periods than non-mycorrhizal roots[303 ]. This species is a good example for the tree component in an agroforestry system for resin production. Other useful trees, such as clove, are simultaneously planted with the dammar trees so that although the latter largely dominate, the resulting stand is multilayered, comprising different useful plants such as fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants[303 ]. Along the southern coast of Sumatra, agroforests, called kebun dammar, or dammar forest gardens, are established at the end of the cycle of shifting cultivation, or when there is a sufficiently large opening in the forest canopy. The cycle normally begins with a crop of upland rice followed by coffee or pepper, and in three to seven years dammar seedlings are added to the upland field. As the dammar grows, it contributes to a microclimate suitable for coffee production; then, fifteen years after planting, dammar overtakes coffee, pepper, and other fruiting trees[325 ]. The dammar trees begin producing after twenty years, yielding resin for about 30 years before dying sometime between 50 and 60 years of age. Compared to other agroforestry systems, the dammar gardens support a high degree of biological diversity[325 ]. Other Uses The bark yields an unusually clear, pale yellow dammar (resin). The resin is harvested from cuts made on the trunk[303 ]. The resin was formerly used by local people for torches, for caulking boats and handicrafts, and more recently local traders export it to industrial countries, where it is used principally in paints, varnishes and linoleum industries[303 ]. It is also used in cosmetics, as a food additive and for medication. Harvesting of the resin commences when the bole is around 25cm in diameter (approx 20 years old). Triangular cuts (becoming circular with age) are arranged in vertical rows around the trunk. The cuts are several centimetres wide at first, but become enlarged at every tapping and eventually become holes of 15 - 20cm in depth and width. The average number of holes for a tree about 30 metres tall and 60 - 80cm in diameter is 9 - 11 in each of 4 - 5 vertical rows. For the higher holes, the tapper climbs the tree supported by a rattan belt and using the lower holes as footholds. The exuded resin is allowed to dry on the tree before it is collected. The frequency with which the tree is visited to refreshen the cut varies from once a week to once a month, depending on how far the tree is from the village. Tapping can continue for 30 years[891 ]. The heartwood is yellowish-white and when freshly cut is indistinct from the sapwood, but it gradually becomes yellowish-brown or light brown, and on exposure is slightly more distinct from the sapwood[303 ]. The grain is usually interlocked, and the texture moderately coarse but even[303 ]. The planed surface is lustrous, often with subtle ribbon figures[303 ]. The wood is not very durable and should therefore be kept away from contact with the ground unless it is treated[303 ]. Because of its high silica content, the wood is not popular as a sawn timber, but it has been used for a wide variety of purposes, such as door and window frames, posts, beams, joists, rafters, planking, light flooring, ceiling, furniture, interior and shop fitting, vehicle bodies, sports goods, vats, wine casks, food containers, stair stringers, and ship and boat building[303 ]. The creamy white and uniform colour, the even texture and the good gluing properties make S. Javanica a highly preferred timber for plywood production, which is its most important use[303 , 325 ]. The wood is satisfactorily used for pulp in the manufacture of paper[303 ]. The lower part of the trunk is scarified from tapping for resin and hence can be used only for firewood[303 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Experimental Crop  Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Standard

Damar is a plant of the lowland, humid tropics, where it is found at elevations from sea level to about 500 metres[303 ]. It grows in areas where the mean annual temperature is about 25°c, and the mean annual rainfall is 1,600 - 3,500mm, with a dry season of less than 6 months[303 ]. It succeeds in areas with no dry season, but generally grows better with a dry season[303 ]. Seedling trees grow best with some shade, but by the time they are 4 metres tall they require a sunny position[310 ]. The tree grows best on deep loamy soils, though it can succeed on various soils from quite deep loamy alkaline soils to sticky acid clays[303 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 7.5, tolerating 4.5 - 8.5[418 ]. Growth is moderately fast; trees may reach a height of 40 - 50 metres in 50 years[303 ]. Flowering and fruiting intervals are irregular, possibly every 3 - 5 years; flowering is gregarious and correlated with a previous drought period[303 ]. The harvest of resins begins when the tree is 15 - 50 years old and continues for 30 years. At 50 years of age the tree is already physiologically old because of reduced photosynthetic and metabolic capacity due to regular tapping, hence the silvicultural rotation lasts approximately 50 years[303 ]. With an approximate density of 100 trees/hectare, the average production of resin is an estimated 48 tonnes/ hectare per year[303 ]. There is a decrease in resin production when the tree is flowering and fruiting, with the tree only gradually reaching its maximum production again 1 year later[303 ]. Seedlings need shade until they reach a height of about 1.5 metres. Then the shade trees can be gradually removed to provide sunlight[303 ]. The young trees, when exposed to full sunlight, show a tendency to form multiple leaders[303 ]. Mycorrhizae on the roots of the tree, especially the ectomycorrhizae, appear to increase the tolerance of trees to drought, high soil temperatures, soil toxicity (organic and inorganic) and extremely low soil pH caused by high levels of sulphur or aluminium[303 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Experimental Crop  Plant breeders are testing these plants to see if they could be domesticated for cultivation, but they are still in an experimental phase. Examples include milkweed and leafy spurge.
  • Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, rubber, biomass products gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, butane, propane, biogas. Plants are usually resprouting plants and saps.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - there is no dormancy and so pre-treatment is not necessary[325 ]. Mature seeds, sown immediately after collection, germinate well (about 96%), but storage often causes rapid deterioration[303 ]. However, seeds collected 4 and 2 weeks before maturity show only 66% and 79% germination immediately after collection, but their loss of viability during storage is much less[303 ]. Seeds that are collected from the ground must always be sown immediately[325 ]. Sow the seed in containers and plant out when 20 - 25cm tall. The seed can also be sown at high densities in nursery seedbeds. The seedlings are not thinned and the high density means that individual plants grow slowly - no more than 20 - 30cm tall after 4 - 5 years. When planted out, the seedlings grow away normally. In this way, seedlings can be available for planting out even in years when seed production is poor.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

English (white meranti,damar); Filipino (manggasinoro); Indonesian (damar jaca,damar sibosa,mesegar lanang); Khmer (lum’-baô); Malay (temak,meranti pa’ang); Thai (phayom,saya-khao,kiam-khanong); Trade name (white meranti,damar)

This species is endemic to Sumatra, Indonesia. The species is also reported from Java but only from one specimen in the Sancang Nature Reserve and three collections at the Bogor Botanic Garden (Rachmat et al. 2012)

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


Koord. & Valeton

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Shorea javanica  
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