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You are here:News»Malaysian Hardwood: Kembang Semangkok
Monday, 07 September 2020 08:43

Malaysian Hardwood: Kembang Semangkok


General description
Kembang Semangkok is found scattered mainly in the lowland forests but occasionally found on ridge-tops and in swampy forest in Peninsular Malaysia. The scientific name for the timber is Scaphium spp. (Sterculiaceae).
The species is characterised by medium-sized to large, deciduous, monoecious trees up to 45m tall with bole up to 80cm in diameter, usually having large and thick buttresses. Its outer bark is fissured in patches or flaky in small, rectangular pieces, greyish brown to brown while its inner bark fibrous, pale yellowish-brown with thin but conspicuous red outer layer. Its crown is usually irregularly hemispherical and somewhat diffuse with prominent leaf scars and stout twigs.

Timber description
The timber is soft to moderately soft and light to moderately heavy with an air-dry density of 515-755kg/m3. It is a light hardwood but it is fairly strong.
The sapwood is lighter in shade and merges gradually into the heartwood, which is yellow-brown, light buff or light brown. Texture is slightly coarse and uneven while the grain is straight or shallowly interlocked.
Kembang Semangkok has a high silica content and is abrasive. It is also highly in demand as it resembles Light Red Meranti and is particularly popular for veneer, among others.

It is easy to resaw and crosscut. Planing is easy and the surface produced is generally smooth. It is advisable to process Kembang Semangkok in green conditions.
Veneers produced are found to be smooth and tight. Attractive ornamental figures can be found on veneer surfaces. The veneer can be glued fairly easily. The nailing property is rated as good. The timber seasons fairly fast with only very slight degrade.
The timber kiln dries very well without any seasoning degrade. 25mm boards take about 5 days to kiln-dry from 50% to 10% moisture content.

The broad rays and the terminal bands of parenchyma produce a very attractive figure, making the timber very suitable for interior finishing (e.g. panelling, stairs), furniture manufacture, decorative veneer, whether rotary cut or sliced. It is also suitable for match splints, boxes, and crates.


  • Species A-D (kg/m3)
  • White Oak 770
  • Beech 720
  • Ash 670-810
  • Teak 660
  • Tasmanian Oak 650
  • Iroko 610-660
  • Kembang Semangkok 515-755
  • Cherry 580-630
  • Walnut 570-670
  • Red Oak 550-740
  • Maple 550-730
  • Mahogany 530-672