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Shorea obtusa - Wall. ex Blume

Common Name Taengwood Balau, teng
Family Dipterocarpaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry, deciduous, dipterocarp forests, deciduous monsoon forests and open, dry degraded areas like mixed savannah forests at elevations from 200 - 1,000 metres[404 ].
Range Southeast Asia - Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Shorea obtusa Taengwood Balau, teng

Shorea obtusa Taengwood Balau, teng


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Found in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, Shorea obtusa is a deciduous tropical tree growing in relatively dry areas, reaching a height of about 10- 30 m and bole diameter of up to 60 cm. The flowers are yellow that droop in clusters. The plant yields a very hard timber, which is used for construction purposes, with high commercial value. The trunk also yields resin for local and medicinal uses. In particular, it is used in the treatment of wounds, ulcers, dysentery, etc. The resin is also used for caulking boats and baskets, and in making traditional torches.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Shorea obtusa is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


This name is unresolved.


Edible Uses

None known

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.

A resin obtained from the tree is antibiotic. It is used in the treatment of wounds, ulcers etc[404 , 730 ]. It is also recommended as a cure for dysentery[404 ]. The bark is used to treat malaria[404 ].

Other Uses

Other Uses: The bark has a high tannin content[404 ]. A yellowish resin exudes from the bark. It is used for caulking baskets and boats and to make a traditional torch[404 , 730 ]. The heartwood is brown, turning to dark brown or dark reddish brown, often with fine dark lines; the narrow band of sapwood is pale yellow to pale brownish-white. Texture is medium, the grain interlocked and lustre is dull. The wood is heavy, very hard and durable, especially in the open and in contact with water. Sawing is reported to be rather difficult, mostly due to the high resin content; the wood works quite smooth; it is slightly susceptible to surface cracking and end splitting. However, untreated sleepers have lasted for 15 years[404 ]. The wood is used for construction works, bridges, piles, ship-building, framing of boats, utility and garden furniture, interior uses such as parquet flooring, heavy-duty flooring, window- and door frames. It is also very valuable for railway sleepers[404 ].

Cultivation details

A plant of tropical monsoon climates, where it grows at an elevation up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas with a mean annual precipitation of 1,250 - 2,000mm, with a well pronounced wet season and a dry season of up to 6 months. However, it can also grow with less than 1,250mm[404 ]. Requires a sunny position[404 ]. It grows well on well-drained sandy soils, rocky soils, lateritic soils, including ferric acrisols, gleyic acrisols, and ferralic cambisols. Unlike the majority of dipterocarps, it can survive even on very poor soils and rocky areas[404 ]. An acid to neutral pH is suitable[404 ]. In Cambodia it is often found on gray soil on shale[404 ]. The plant is adapted to growing in areas where fires are common in the dry season[404 ].


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Seed. The viability of freshly collected seeds is low and after screening out those attacked by insects and clipping the wings, they are sown right away into shaded nursery beds. Survival percentage has been reported to be 65 - 75%[404 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Taengwood Balau, teng, ngae, chik, pra-choek, thitya, phchok, chaf.

Found In

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

Cambodia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam

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 : Status: Lower Risk/least concern

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Shorea balangeranRed Balau00
Shorea javanicaDammar, White meranti10
Shorea johorensisSeraya majau, Meranti majau00
Shorea macrophyllaLight Red Meranti, Engkabang, False Ilipe Nut32
Shorea polyspermaDark-red Philippine-mahogany00
Shorea quadrinervisLight Red Meranti00
Shorea robustaSal Tree43
Shorea siamensisDark red meranti, Light red meranti, Red lauan02


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Wall. ex Blume

Botanical References

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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