Indian Laurel (Terminalia elliptica)

Indian Laurel (Terminalia elliptica)

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Common Name(s): Indian Laurel

Scientific Name: Terminalia elliptica (syn. T. tomentosa)

Distribution: Southern Asia (primarily India and Myanmar)

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (855 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .73, .86

Janka Hardness: 2,340 lbf (10,390 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 14,710 lbf/in2 (101.4 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,806,000 lbf/in2 (12.46 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 8,220 lbf/in2 (56.7 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.8%, Tangential: 7.4%, Volumetric: 13.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Varies from light brown to dark brown with darker, nearly black streaks. Sapwood is a pale pinkish color, clearly demarcated from the heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight or slightly interlocked or irregular. With a medium to coarse uniform texture and low natural luster.

Endgrain: No data available.

Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable; poor insect resistance.

Workability: Generally easy to work, though sections with interlocked or irregular grain are more problematic. Turns and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Indian Laurel has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Most commonly available as decorative veneer. Expect prices to be moderate for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, cabinetry, boatbuilding, turned objects, and other small specialty items.

Comments: No data available.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

None available.

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the veneer sample of this wood species.

Indian Laurel (Terminalia elliptica)

Indian Laurel (sanded)

Indian Laurel (sealed)

Indian Laurel (sealed)


  1. Bahtiar Zulham August 17, 2018 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Is it same species with Terminalia Catappa (Indian Almond) ?
    If its different with Catappa, would you please to add Catappa wood identification.

  2. DaveO July 31, 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    I just bought a Taylor guitar that has Laurel Back and sides, and it sounds Amazing!!!!

    • BrianW November 15, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Most of the sound of an acoustic guitar comes from the top, not the back and sides. That’s why most acoustics are made with cheaper woods or are laminated. I have a Taylor Big Baby which is at their low end. It has a laminated back and sides, yet it sounds great, too. The important part is having a solid top. Of course, if it’s made by Taylor, it doesn’t matter what wood they use. It’s going to sound great.

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