Gonystylus bancanus (Miq.) Kurz

Gonystylus bancanus (Miq.) Kurz





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Ramin melawis, melawis, ramin telur (Peninsular), garu buaja (Sarawak).
Indonesia Ramin (General), gaharu buaya (Sumatra, Kalimantan), merang (Kalimantan).
Brunei Ramin.

Geographical Distributions

Gonystylus bancanus is found in south-western Peninsular Malaysia, south-eastern Sumatra, Bangka and Borneo.


G. bancanus is a medium-sized to fairly large tree that can reach up to 40(-45) m tall. The bole is cylindrical and measuring up to 120 cm in diametre but usually less. It sometimes slightly fluted at the base and with many knee-roots (pneumatophores). The bark surface is often cracked and fissured, greyish to red-brown while the inner bark is fibrous, orange-brown to red-brown and with pale cream or white sapwood.

The leaves are elliptical, short oblong-oblanceolate or obovate, measuring (4-)5-8(-14.5) cm x (2-)3-5(-7) cm, often conduplicate, broadly wedge-shaped to rounded at the base, suddenly narrowed into an acuminate-cuspidate at the apex and quite hairless. The petiole is 8-18 mm long.

The inflorescence measures up to 9 cm long and with minutely adpressed ochraceo-puberulous. There are 13-20 petals which are narrowly lance-shaped and smooth.

The fruit is nearly spherical and measuring up to 4 cm in diametre.

Ecology / Cultivation

G. bancanus occurs gregariously in lowland freshwater swamp or peat-swamp forests outside the influence of tidal waters but often in broad belts along the coast. It occurs up to 100 m altitude and occasionally found in pure stands (e.g. Sarawak). The density of the wood is (460-)540-750(-840) kg/m3 at 15% of moisture content.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(1): Timber trees: Major commercial timbers.