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Toona sureni - (Blume) Merr.

Common Name Suren
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards Wood dust may irritate mucous mebranes or induce bronchitis or dermatitis[404 ].
Habitats A canopy tree in primary forest, but is more common in secondary forest, often on riparian hillsides and slopes, at elevations from 700 - 1,700 metres[266 , 303 , 388 ]. Open hillsides, occasional in ravines, forests, and woods[266 ].
Range E. Asia- China, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Toona sureni Suren

Toona sureni Suren


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Suren, Toona sureni, is a fast-growing, deciduous tree growing about 40 to 60 m in height and up to 100 cm in trunk diameter. It has a wide, spreading, and dense crown and usually buttressed trunk that can be branchless for up to 25 m. It is commonly grown throughout East Asia. Other common names include surian, limpaga, iron redwood, and red cedar. The bark is fibrous and flaky, pale brown to whitish or grayish brown, and exude a pleasant odor when cut. The leaves are large, pinnate, arranged spirally, and usually in clusters at the ends of branches. The inflorescence are terminal, paniculate, and pendant. Individual flowers are small and sweetly fragrant. The fruits are brown leathery capsules, each fruit containing at least 100 winged seeds. Young shoots are cooked. Medicinally, various plant parts are used locally for treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, and other intestinal infections. The plant is used as an astringent and tonic. The flowers produce yellow dyes while bark and fruits are used for production of essential oil. The bark also yields fiber. Extracts from the bark, heartwood, and leaves have shown insecticidal properties. T. sureni is a source of high quality hardwoods that are used for high-end furniture work, decorative panelling, musical instruments, interior finishing, and other wood crafts. The tree also functions as an ornamental and shade tree. In some areas, it is used for intercropping.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Toona sureni is a deciduous Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 35 m (114ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Cedrela febrifuga Blume Cedrela sureni (Blume) Burkill Surenus febrifuga (Blume) Kuntze Swietenia su

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Shoots
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked[317 ].

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.
Antibiotic  Antidiarrhoeal  Antiperiodic  Antirheumatic  Antispasmodic  Astringent  Dysentery  Purgative  

Various parts of the plant, especially the bark, are used in local medicine, as astringents and tonics and to treat diarrhoea[303 , 325 ]. Leaf extracts are reported to have antibiotic activity[303 , 325 ]. The bark is used as a powerful astringent and a purgative throughout its range. It is also considered to be antiperiodic, antirheumatic and tonic[266 ]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, and other intestinal infections[266 ]. An infusion prepared from the flowers is said to have an antispasmodic effect[404 ]. The leaf extracts apparently have an antibiotic activity against Staphylococcus, with leaf tip concoctions being applied to swellings[266 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Fibre  Furniture  Insecticide  Shelterbelt  String  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: Often planted in tea estates as a windbreak[325 ]. Other Uses The flowers are used to produce red and yellow dyes[317 ]. The bark and fruits can be used for production of essential oils[325 ]. Extracts from the bark, heartwood and leaves apparently have insecticidal qualities[451 ]. Fibres obtained from the bark are used in making string bags[404 ]. The heartwood is light red or brown; it is distinctly demarcated from the sapwood, which is white, pink, or pale red. The wood is moderately durable but susceptible to dry-termite and borer attack. It is sweetly aromatic when cut, easy to saw and has good woodworking properties; some material tends to produce a wooly finish and it is therefore essential to use sharp tools; mortising, turning, and sanding give moderate results, but boring sometimes gives poor results; gluing and nailing properties are rated as good but the nail-holding strength is moderate. An excellent timber, it is used for high-class cabinet wood, furniture, interior finishing, decorative panelling, crafts, musical instruments, cigar boxes, veneers, boxes and for construction[266 , 325 , 404 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of tropical climates, it prefers a hot and humid climate and can be found at elevations up to 1,700 metres. It grows best in areas where the, mean annual rainfall can range from 1,120 - 4,000mm, with a uniform distribution during the summer and a dry season lasting 3 - 4 months. The mean temperature of the coolest month ranges from 6 - 18°c, and of the hottest month from 28 - 45°c[404 ]. It is found in areas where the mean annual temperature is around 22°c[325 ]. Young trees require some protection from direct sun, but become more light demanding as they grow older[418 ]. Requires a moist but freely-draining, fertile soil[303 , 404 ]. Succeeds in acid to alkaline soils[404 ]. A fast-growing tree[404 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe since it loses its viability within the first 2 - 3 months[325 ]. The seeds germinate easily, and need no pre-treatment. They are sown in a seedbed under 60 % shading[325 ]. Germination of up to 80 % occurs after 4 - 7 days. After one month, the seedlings can be transplanted to containers[325 ]. A 60% rooting was obtained using stem cuttings from 2 - 4-year-old material treated with indolebutyric acid (IBA) and placed in a sawdust medium[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

danupra, suren.

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Found In

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

China ; Bhutan; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Papua New Guinea; Thailand

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
Toona ciliataMountain Cedar, Australian Red Cedar, ToonaTree30.0 9-12 FMHFSNMWe224
Toona sinensisChinese CedarTree20.0 6-11 FLMHNM324

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


(Blume) Merr.

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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