Malas makes up approximately 9% of the total log exports of Papua New Guinea. It is somewhat similar to the Mahogany range of timbers, having good working and finishing properties. The colour makes it easily distinguishable from other timber species and as a finished product it gives something different.

Malas is a high density timber and has value in uses such as heavy construction, wharf and bridge decking, flooring, boat building, truck bodies, scantling, turnery, sleepers, joinery, piles, posts, poles and tool handles.

Botanical Name: Homalium foetidum (Roxb.) Benth.
Standard Trade Names: Malas.
Other Names: Aranga (Philippines) malasata (Solomon Is.) petaling, padang, selimbar (Malaya) gia (Indonesia) Burma lancewood (U.K).
Origin of Product:
Species information for this product:
  • The Heartwood is brown, reddish brown or sometimes yellow-brown. The sapwood is slightly paler and not distinctly demarcated merging into the darker heartwood. The grain is usually straight but in some cases can be deeply interlocked. It is virtually un-figured with a fine and even texture.

  • The timber seasons well, with a risk of checking on back sawn material, and it has a tendency to twist slightly. All material should be quarter-sawn to avoid degrade. However, quarter-sawn boards are still at risk of slight edge checking, which is generally shallow and can easily be removed by dressing.

  • Malas presents no conversion problems, considering its density and has little blunting effect on tools. It requires pre-boring before nailing to prevent end split; planes and machines to a smooth finish and bends well in steaming.


Density: 740-840 Kg/m3 @ 12% m.c
Durability: Class 3: Moderately durable.
Colour: Light red to red-brown.
Texture: Fine and even.
Grain: Straight or shallowly interlocked, sometimes can be deeply interlocked
Figure: Virtually un-figured.
Permeability: Class 2: Sapwood is permeable and heartwood is reasonably uniform to pressure impregnation.
General: Very soft and easy to work with if blades are kept sharp.
Sawing: Cutting resistance is reported to be easy, relative to the density of the timber
Planing: Excellent characteristics; produces a smooth surface.
Blunting: Low.
Boring: Fairly easy.
Turning: Good turning properties.
Nailing: Requires pre-boring.
Gluing: Glues satisfactorily.
Finishing: Stains and polishes well.


Mechanical Properties
Strength: SD2.
Structural Grade: F34(select grade).
Hardness (Janka): 9.5kN (seasoned), 7.2kN (unseasoned)
Max. Crushing Strength: 84MPa (seasoned), 55Mpa (unseasoned).
Modulus of Elasticity: 19GPa (seasoned), 16GPa (unseasoned).
Modulus of Rupture: 152MPa (seasoned), 105MPa (unseasoned).
General: Seasons well, some risk of checking.
Movement: Very low.
Shrinkage: Low.