Red lauan (Shorea negrosensis)

Red lauan
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Red lauan fact file

Red lauan description

GenusShorea (1)

This large, Philippine tree has thick dark brown to nearly black bark with a reddish tinge (2). The trunk is ridged with shallow furrows and bears no branches for the first 20 to 30 metres (2) (3). The tough, leathery leaves measure up to 17 centimetres long and 7.5 centimetres wide and taper toward the tip. The cream-coloured flowers are borne in clusters of four and are said to have a ‘sick-like’ odour (2). The turban-shaped fruits of the red lauan are around 1.9 centimetres wide, covered with silky yellow hairs and each bears five long wings (4).

Height: up to 50 m (2)
Trunk diameter: up to 2 m (2)

Red lauan biology

The red lauan flowers between April and May (2), during which time the blooms are visited by insects for pollen (3). Following pollination, fruits develop and appear between March and June (2).


Red lauan range

The red lauan is found only in the Philippines, where it occurs on the islands of Luzon, Pollilo, Biliran, Negros, Samar, Leyte, Mindanao and Basilan (2).


Red lauan habitat

This tree occurs in lowland evergreen and seasonal dipterocarp forests (3) (5), between 0 and 1,000 metres above sea level (3).


Red lauan status

Classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Critically Endangered


Red lauan threats

Red lauan numbers have become depleted due to logging and slash-and-burn agriculture (2). Red lauan is a valuable timber (3), which is exported to be used in furniture, boat and building construction (2).


Red lauan conservation

The red lauan most likely occurs in a number of protected areas throughout the Philippines, such as the Sierra Madre. However, despite this so-called protection, illegal logging activities can continue to pose a threat (6).



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Trees of the family Dipterocarpaceae: resinous trees that are found in the old world tropics.
The transfer of pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
The cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create space for agriculture or livestock.


  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2007)
  2. De Guzman, E.D., Umali, R.M. and Sotalbo, E.D. (1986) Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna. Volume 3: Dipterocarps and Non-Dipterocarps. Natural Resources Management Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippines, Philippines.
  3. World Agroforestry Centre: Agroforestree Database (June, 2008)
  4. Stern, W.L. and Zamuco, I.T. (1965) Identity of “Tiaong” (Dipterocarpaceae). Brittonia, 17(1): 35 - 46.
  5. Oldfield, S., Lusty, C. and MacKinven, A. (1998) The World List of Threatened Trees. World Conservation Press, Cambridge, UK.
  6. Greenpeace Southeast Asia. (2006) Sierra Madre: Under Threat. Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Quezon City, Philippines.

Image credit

Red lauan  
Red lauan

© Fletcher & Baylis

Wildside Photography


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