Aquilaria malaccensis



Aquilaria is a genus consists of 25 species that are identified to have phytogeography location in 14 countries comprise Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Filipina, Kemboja, Singapura, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Aquilaria malaccensis species can be found mainly at lowland dipterocarp and mixed dipterocarp forest at altitude up to 270 meter. Even though the species is widespread, but it occurs at low population density (Chua, 2008).

Table 1: The distribution location of 25 species which were recognised in the same Aquilaria genus

No Species Distribution
1 Aquilaria acuminate (Merr.) Quis Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines
2 Aquilaria agollocha India, Bangladesh
3 Aquilaria apiculata Elmer Philippines (Mindanao)
4 Aquilaria baillonii Pierre ex Lecomte Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
5 Aquilaria banaense Vietnam
6 Aquilaria beccariana van Tiegh Borneo, Malaysia, Indonesia
7 Aquilaria brachyantha (Merr.) Hall.f. Malaysia
8 Aquilaria crassna Pierre ex Lecomte Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam
9 Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne) Ridl. Indonesia, Philipines
10 Aquilaria filarial (Oken) Merr. China, West New Guinea, Philippines (Mollucas)
11 Aquilaria grandiflora Bth China
12 Aquilaria hirta Ridl. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand
13 Aquilaria khasiana H. Hallier Bangladesh and India (Khasia)
14 Aquilaria malaccensis Lam. Bhutan, India, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak) and Thailand
15 Aquilaria microcarpa Baill Indonesia (Belitung, Bangka & Sumatera) and Malaysia
16 Aquilaria rostrata Ridl. Malaysia
17 Aquilaria sinensis Merr China
18 Aquilaria subintegra Malaysia and Thailand
19 Aquilaria citrinicarpa (Elmer) Hall.f. Philippines (Mindanao)
20 Aquilaria ophispermum
21 Aquilaria parvifolia (Quis.) Philippines (Luzon)
22 Aquilaria pentandra
23 Aquilaria rugosa
24 Aquilaria urdanetensis (Elmer) Hall.f. Philippines (Mindanao)
25 Aquilaria yunnanensis China

** Aquilaria species that can be found in Malaysia are highlighted using orange color in Table 1 above
Among the Aquilaria species, 18 Aquilaria species can produce agarwood. However, only 8 Aquilaria species can be found grown in Malaysia with Aquilaria malaccensis Lam. is the most dominant species here. Five Aquilaria species; A. malaccensis, A. hirta, A. beccariana, A. hirta, A. rostrata and A. microcarpa have been commercialized and planted in Malaysia because this species can produce high quality of agarwood.

On the other hand, Aquilaria is not the only genus can produce agarwood, yet a few species from Aetoxylon, Enkleia, Gonystylus, Gyrinops, and Wikstroemia genus are also able to produce the resin. All genuses mentioned are from Thymalaeaceae family. Another species from other family that can produce the resin are Dalbergia parvifolia and Excocaria agalocha. The taxonomic classification for agarwood-producing tree species has been simplified in Diagram 1 below:

Diagram 1: The taxonomic classification for agarwood-producing tree species


From 30 species agarwood-producer in Thymelaeaceae family as shown in Diagram 1 above, 18 species can be found in Malaysia. The natural distribution of the agarwood-producer species of Thymelaeaceae family in Malaysia is shown in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Natural distribution of agarwood-producer tree in Malaysia

Genus Species Local name Natural Distribution
Aetoxylon A. sympethalum Sarawak
Aquilaria A. beccariana Garu, Gaharu, Gaharu buaya, Gaharu Engkaras, Engkaras, Karas Batu, Lalu (Punan community), Mebuaan (Kenyah Community), Pendok Ruai (Iban), Tanduk Peninsular Malaysia (southern part of Johor), Sabah & Sarawak
  A. brachyantha Malaysia
  A. crassna Malaysia
  A. hirta Chandan bulu, Karas Bulu, Gaharu, Chempedak Peninsular Malaysia (Terengganu, Pahang & Johor), Sabah & Sarawak
  A. malaccensis Karas, Candan, Ching Karas, Depu, Gaharu, Gaharu Lampong, Gharu, Johog-galuk (Sakai community), Engkaras (Iban community), Kekaras, Kempas Nenasi (Temuan community), Kepang, Tabak, Taboh, Tengkaras Peninsular Malaysia (Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor), Sabah & Sarawak
  A. microcarpa Gaharu, Garu, Gaharu Putih, Engkaras Sabah & Sarawak
  A. rostrata Peninsular Malaysia (endemic at Gunung Tahan, Pahang), Sabah & Sarawak
  A. subintegra Malaysia
Enkleia E. malaccensis Akar kareh hitam Peninsular Malaysia (Melaka), Sabah & Sarawak
Gonystylus G. bancanus Ramin, Ramin melawis, Bidaru, Lunak Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Sarawak
  G. brunnescens Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Sarawak
  G. confusus Peninsular Malaysia
  G. Macrophyllus Ramin, Gaharu melitan Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Sarawak
Wikstroemia W. androsaemofolia Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Sarawak
  W. polyantha Chandan, Chandan Pelanduk Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Sarawak
  W. ridleyi Peninsular Malaysia (Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu)
  W. tenuriamis Sabah & Sarawak

This work was made possible by a grant from ITTO under the collaborative program with CITES "Support to ITTO: CITES Implementation for Tree Species and Trade/Market Transparency (TMT)”. Donors to this collaborative program include the EU (primary donor), the USA, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.