Madhuca utilis

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Local names:
Malay (seminai)

Madhuca utilis is a large tree up to 50 m tall with bole up to 1 m in diameter and buttresses up to 2 m high.

Leaves closely clustered at tips of twigs, obovate to spatulate, 4-12.5(-18) cm x 1.5-6 cm, secondary veins joined in irregular arches near margin, glabrous and glaucous beneath, stipules up to 3 mm long, caducous

Flowers with sepals yellowish-brown woolly outside and glabrous inside except near tips, 8-9-lobed corolla sparsely woolly outside and glabrous inside except between stamens, 10-16 stamens and glabrous ovary.

Fruit ellipsoid to fusiform, 3.5-5.5 cm x 1.5-3 cm, with woody or fleshy pericarp, 1-seeded.

Seed 3-4 cm long, with thin, brown testa and very large greyish scar, endosperm very thin or absent, cotyledons thick.


M. utilis is locally common, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia, in lowland primary forest; also found in swampy forest.

Native range
Indonesia, Malaysia

Tree management



M. utilis is locally common, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia, in lowland primary forest; also found in swampy forest.

Seeds of M. utilis take 3-16 weeks to germinate.

Timber: The heartwood is dark red-brown, often with a purplish tinge. The density is 920-1200 kg/m cubic at 15% moisture content.  Grain straight or slightly interlocked, texture fine and even. M. utilis is durable but it is very difficult to impregnate. Timber of M. utilis is susceptible to marine borers. The timber is used as bitis, for heavy constructional work, paving blocks, agricultural implements and turnery.

Lipids: The oil from the seeds is used locally in Sumatra for cooking.