Anthocephalus chinensis syn. A. cadamba
Family: Rubiaceae
click to print or download the file in .pdf format


Other Common Names: Kalempayan (Malaya), Laran (Sabah), Kaatoan Bangkal (Philippines), Kelempajan (Indonesia), Mau-lettan-she (Burma), Kadam (India).


Distribution: Widely distributed from India to the Malayan Peninsula, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, and Australia.  Grows best on deep, moist, alluvial sites, often in secondary forests along riverbanks.  A favored plantation species inside and outside its native region.


The Tree: May reach a height of 150 ft with trunk diameters of 40 in.; but more commonly 50 to 100 ft in height with diameters of 15 in.  to 24 in.; sometimes with small buttresses; broad crown.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Sapwood white with a light yellow tinge becoming creamy yellow on exposure; not differentiated from the heartwood.  Texture fine to medium; grain straight; luster low; without characteristic odor or taste.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.31 to 0.40; air- dry density 23 to 30 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-in.  standard, third set on the 2-cm standard.)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

            (%)                  (Psi)                            (1,000 psi)                   (Psi)

Green (54)                     6,870                         1,170                           3,370

12%                             10,980                         1,270                           5,750


Green (34)                     5,000                         735                              2,340


Green (66)                     7,850                         1,100                           4,020

12%                             11,150                         1,260                           6,440


Janka side hardness 470 lb green and 600 lb at 12% moisture content.  Forest Products Laboratory toughness 157 in.-lb for green material (5/8-in specimen).


Drying and Shrinkage: The timber air dries rapidly with little or no degrade.  Kiln schedule T10-D4S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T8-D3S for 8/4.  Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.5%; tangential 5.9%.  Movement in service is rated as small.


Working Properties: The wood is easy to work with hand and machine tools, cuts cleanly, gives a very good surface.  Easy to nail.


Durability: The wood is rated as nondurable.


Preservation: Very easy to treat using either open tank or pressure-vacuum systems.


Uses: Plywood, light construction, pulp and paper, boxes and crates, furniture components, millwork.


Additional Reading: (9), (25), (34), (54), (65)


9. Burgess, P. F. 1966.  Timbers of Sabah.  Sabah For.  Rec.  No.  6.

25.  Grijpma, P. 1967.  Anthocephalus cadamba, a versatile, fast-growing industrial tree species for the tropics.  Turrialba 17(3):321-328.

34.  Lauricio, F. M., and S. B. Bellosillo.  1966.  The mechanical and related properties of  Philippine woods.  The Lumberman 12(5):66 +A-H.

54.  Sekhar, A. C., and D. N. Bhatia.  1957.  Physical and mechanical properties of woods tested at the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun.  Indian Forest Records (Timber             Mechanics) 1 (9):1 55-157.

65.  United Kingdom: Dep.  Sci.  Ind.  Res.  1957.  A handbook of softwoods.  H. M. Stationery Office.  London.


From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.