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Lauan, Philippine mahogany, meranti, red meranti, white meranti
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 0.30 to 0.70 (extremely variable depending on species)
DURABILITY1: Varies by species
SOURCE: South East Asia, primarily Indochina, Philippine Islands
The lauan genus (Shorea) contains about 70 species and their woods are extremely variable. Some are as soft as basswood while others are harder than white oak. Color may also vary from ash gray to dark reddish brown. The lumber industry markets these woods by their appearance and density characteristics rather than by species. The denser, dark red merantis have better decay resistance and are relatively stable. Most of the lauans are coarse textured and have poor decay resistance. Some have high silica content and may dull cutters, while others are exceptionally gummy. Lauan is widely sold around the world as "Philippine mahogany", including its use for plywood face veneers. It is one of the world's most popular timbers.