Merbau is a coarse-textured timber. Yellowish to orange-brown when fresh, it turns to darken a little to a reddish-brown colour when it oxidized and aged. The grain is straight to interlocked or wavy, producing an attractive, ribbon figure on radial surfaces. Pores usually contain water soluble yellowish deposits which are conspicuous on wood surfaces.
The species is reported to occur in the Indo-Malaya region, Indonesia, Philippines and many of the western Pacific Islands. It is reported to be occasionally common locally in lowland forests and transition zones behind mangroves.
A high-class, stable, durable, rather heavy hardwood with its deep colour makes it an attractive wood for parquet flooring, superior joinery, door and window frames, panelling, cabinet-making, turnery and tool handles.
Heartwood is reported to be durable and is highly resistant to termite attacks.