Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Intsia bijuga (Colebr.) Kuntze

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Kuntze, C.E.O. (1891) Revis. Gen. Pl. 1: 192.

Common name

Teak; Pacific Teak; Mahogany, Scrub; Johnstone River Teak; Kwila; Scrub Mahogany


Bark often scalloped. Blaze odour resembles that of freshly shelled peas (Pisum sativum) or cut green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Minute ray pattern usually visible in the inner blaze.


Frequently four leaflets in each compound leaf. Leaflet blades about 7-15 x 3-13 cm. Lateral veins forming a somewhat obscure series of loops inside the blade margin. Leaflet stalks somewhat swollen and transversely wrinkled. Stipules present on very young shoots.


Only one petal fully developed, about 12 mm long, the others absent or very much reduced, resembling staminodes. Stamens, style and stigma red, anther filaments sparsely hairy. Staminodes 4-7, red. Ovary green, style about 16 mm long.


Pods flat, about 8.5-23 x 4-8 cm. Seeds flat, about 3 x 2 cm.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 20 mm diam., thick and fleshy, venation not visible. First pair of leaves compound, usually with four leaflets. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves usually with four leaflets, each shortly ovate and unequal-sided, apex acute, base obtuse, glabrous. Seed germination time 12 to 41 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYPNEQ and CEQ, normally at low elevations close to the sea. Usually grows in beach forest but also found in quite well developed rain forest. Also occurs in Madagascar, India, SE Asia, Malesia and on the Indian and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces one of the most valuable timbers in SE Asia and the SW Pacific. It is both durable and decorative and can be used in a large number of different situations.

Wood specific gravity 0.86. Cause et al. (1989).

Afzelia bijuga (Colebr.) A.Gray, United States Exploring Expedition (Wilkes Expedition) Botany. Phanerogamia 1: 467(1854). Macrolobium bijugum Colebr., Trans. Linn. Soc. LOnd. 12: 359(1818), Type: Cultivated Calcutta Botanical Garden, India. Afzelia australis F.M.Bailey, A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora, Supplement 2 : 19(1888), Type: Johnstone River. , Dr. Thos. L. Bancroft.
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