Meranti is the group name for species of Shorea in Malaysia, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia. Seraya is the group name for species of Shorea and Parashorea in Sabah.Luan is the group name for species of Shorea, Parashorea and Pentacme in the Philippines. These are all light to medium weight timbers.
The various species of Shorea grow to a height of 45m or so and a diameter of 1.2m or a little more, with long, clean, cylindrical boles above small buttresses.
The various types of commercial Meranti. Seraya show considerable variation in colour, density, and general properties, according to the species, and the following descriptions must therefore be regarded as being average for each group. Dark red Meranti: Sapwood lighter in colour and distinct from the heartwood which is red brown darkening to a dark red; planed surfaces fairly lustrous, stripe figure on radial surfaces. Grey colored narrow streaks are often present on all longitudinal surfaces, caused by concentric layers on resin canals. The texture is rather coarse but even, and the grain is interlocked and wavy. The wood weighs on average, 710kg/m3 when dried.
There is a wide variation in the strength properties of the various Meranti and red Seraya due to the difference in density and the number of species involved. Large over-mature logs are frequently spongy in the heart, the wood in these areas being weak and brittle. Despite the fact that the best type of light red Meranti is almost equal to the weakest type of dark red Meranti, there is nonetheless on average, a distinct difference in mechanical properties.
All the Meranti are well suited to joinery and general construction, and also for furniture, particularly for interior framing and drawer sides and back, but more specifically the end uses are as follows: Light red Meranti: Joinery plywood, flooring, packing cases, paneling, carpentry, cheaper grade furniture and general construction. Dark red Meranti: As above, but higher durability factor allows for its use in more exposed situations, for example for cladding particularly when treated with a preservative. Yellow Meranti: Joinery, light construction, interior finish, plywood, furniture. White Meranti: Flooring, railway carriage framing, furniture, shop fitting, joinery, ship and boat planking, veneer.