Red lauan (Shorea negrosensis)

GenusShorea (1)
SizeHeight: up to 50 m (2)
Trunk diameter: up to 2 m (2)

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

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).

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

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 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).

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).

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2009)