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Dysoxylum acutangulum - Miq.

Common Name Membalo
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The seeds are poisonous and contain dysoxylum acid[ 359 ].
Habitats An upper canopy tree in undisturbed lowland and hill forest, growing on hillsides and ridges with sandy soils; at elevations up to 1,000 metres[ 334 , 359 ].
Range Southeast Asia - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Australia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Dysoxylum acutangulum Membalo

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Dysoxylum acutangulum Membalo


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Dysoxylum acutangulum is an upper canopy tree that grows up to 47 m in height with a straight, buttressed bole that can be branchless for up to 18 m and up to 140 cm in diameter. It can be found in Southeast Asia. The seeds are poisonous containing dysoxylum acid. The wood is strong and hard. It is used for furniture, Chinese coffins, and construction.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Dysoxylum acutangulum is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Alliaria acutangula (Miq.) Kuntze Alliaria schultzii (C.DC.) Kuntze Dysoxylum foveolatum Radlk. Dyso


Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

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None known

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Other Uses

Other Uses: The sapwood is orange-brown. The wood is strong, hard and very beautiful[ 46 , 899 ]. The wood of the bole, and particularly of the buttresses, is beautifully marked but difficult to work[ 899 ]. An important timber tree, used mainly for furniture[ 359 ], it is also used for Chinese coffins and construction[ 46 ]. The wood is suitable for medium to heavy construction work, planking, flooring, panelling, and for manufacturing high grade furniture, wood pallets, veneer and plywood[ 899 ]. We have no more specific information on the wood of this species, but it is one of a group of species that are the source of a commercial timber known in the trade as 'jarum-jarum'. The general description of jarum-jarum is as follows:- The heartwood is orange-red to brick red when fresh,darkening on exposure; it is clearly demarcated from the yellow sapwood. The texture is moderately coarse but uneven due to the abundant of parenchyma; the grain is straight, interlocked, wavy or irregular; there is a watersilk marking on flat-sawn surfaces due to the parenchyma bands. The wood is moderately hard to hard. It is used for purposes such as flooring, furniture, wall panelling, solid door construction, veneer and plywood[ 935 ].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

A rainforest tree prefering sandy soils. Members of the genus are dioecious, in which case both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[ 451 ].

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Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ngersaweran - Aru Islands, Langkang - Borneo, Ambalo, Ambalun, Membalo - Sumatra, angular Dysoxylum

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Dysoxylum fraserianumAustralian rosewood, rose-mahogany, rosewood, turnipwood.Tree30.0 10-12 SLMHNM004
Dysoxylum spectabile Tree0.0 -  LMHSNM01 

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.


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Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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