Castanopsis encleisocarpa (Korth.) Rehder
Cyclobalanus encleistocarpa (Korth.) Oerst.
Pasania encleisocarpa (Korth.) Gamble
Quercus encleisocarpa Korth.
Synaedrys encleisocarpa (Korth.) Koidz.
Lithocarpus encleisocarpus is an evergreen tree that can grow from 15 - 40 metres tall. The bole can be from 25 - 75cm in diameter with buttresses up to 100cm high[
This is one of many timber-bearing species in the genus Lithocarpus that is harvested from the wild on a commercial basis and traded under the name Mempening[
Southeast Asia - Peninsula Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatera, Kalimantan)
Primary hill mixed dipterocarp forest to lower montane forest; at elevations from 1,000 - 1,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
In the tropics, the genus Lithocarpus is generally found in lowland to montane forests, usually below elevations of 2,000 metres occasionally to 3,000 metres. The genus usually grows in areas with year-round rainfall, disliking dry seasons.
Young plants usually grow sucessfully in the shade of woodland, but older trees like a more sunny position. Lithocarpus species are mainly found in well-drained soils, often growing on slopes; they tend to be tolerant of a range of soil textures and to prefer an acid to neutral pH.
The depressed ovoid to subglobose seed is 15 - 20mm long and 15 - 30mm wide with a thin seedcase[
Although we have no specific information for this species, the seeds of all the species of Lithocarpus are more or less edible and most if not all of them will have been used for food in times of shortage, when better foods were not available.
The seed is usually cooked before eating, though it can also be eaten raw. It can be eaten whole, though it is more commonly dried, then ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread.
The main disadvantage of the seed is that it is often rich in tannins, making it bitter and astringent. These tannins can be largely removed by soaking the seeds in water then throwing the water away. The process should be repeated until the seed no longer tastes bitter.
The bark of most species is rich in tannins and can be used as a dye for cottans, rattans etc, and as a preservative for ropes etc[
The sapwood is whitish[
The heartwood is yellow-brown, red-brown or dark red-brown; it is not always clearly demarcated from the lighter-coloured sapwood. The texture is rather coarse and uneven; the grain fairly straight but sometimes interlocked; there is a true oak-line silver figure prominent on the radial surface. The wood is strong to very strong; hard to very hard; moderately heavy to heavy; moderately durable and very difficult to treat. It seasons fairly slowly, without any defects except for some staining, slight bowing and end-checking; shrinkage is high. It is easy to saw when green, but slightly difficult to work when dried; planing is easy and the planed surface is smooth; turned wood has a rough surface when finished. Nailing properties are poor.
A medium hardwood, it is suitable for medium to heavy construction under cover, furniture making, interior finishing, panelling, parquet flooring etc[
]. It is used locally for purposes such as house construction, fence posts, mining props, shingles, boat building, and for making tool handles, rice pounder, poles for carts etc[
The wood makes a good fuel and can be used to make charcoal[
Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool, but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees[
]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.