The Cropwatch Files



Agarwood Botany







Copyright Tony Burfield 2005




Individual species from several genera of the Thymelaceae are associated with the formation of gaharu. These are listed below including associated geographic area (with IUCN Red List Status in blue):


Aquilaria spp.

Besides Aquilaria malaccensis VU A1cd,  Cop 13 Prop 49 at

lists the following agarwood producing species for Aquilaria and Gyrinops (modified by



N.B. A. malaccensis (Lam.) is now considered by many workers as syn A. agallocha (Roxb.).


A. acuminate (Merr.) Quis:  Phillipines

A. apiculata Elmer: Philippines

A. audate (Oken) Merr.:  West Papua.

A. baillonii Pierre ex Lancombe: Cambodia

A. banaense Phamhoang Ho: Vietnam VU D2

A. beccariana van Teigh: Sumatra (Palembang), Malayan Peninsula, Borneo. VU A1d

A. brachyantha (Merr.) Hall f.: Philippines

A. citrinaecarpa (Elmer) Hall f.: Philippines

A. crassna Pierre ex Lancombe: Cambodia, Thailand & Vietnam. CR A1cd

A. cumingiana (Decne) Ridl.: Philippines, Moluccas, S. Borneo (Sampit) VU A1d

A. filaria(Oken) Merr.: Philippines, Moluccas, New Guinea (Sorong, Babor &

A. grandiflora Bth.: China

A. hirta Ridl.: Malay Peninsula, E. Sumatra, Singapore, Thailand.  VU A1d

A. khasiana H. Hall: India (Khasia), Bhutan
A. microcarpa Baill.: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and throughout Borneo VU A1d

A. moszkowskii Gilg.: Sumatra

[A. ovata Cav.: Thailand]

A. parvifoli (Quis) Ding Ho: Philippines

A. rostrata Ridl. : Malay Peninsula DD

A. secundana DC: Moluccas, Thailand

A. sinensis Merr.: Hong Kong, China VU B1+2cde

A. subintegra Ding Ho: Thailand

A. tomentosa Gilg.: New Guinea

A. urdanetensis (Elmer) Hall: Phillipines

A. yunnanensis SC Huang: China


Gyrinops spp..

 Mabberley (1998) indicates nine species. Those

 producing gaharu probably include:

G. audate  (Gilg.) Domke: New Guinea (Sidai, Mt. Arfak)

G. cumingia : East Nusa Tenggara (where it is known as “homa”)

G. decipiens Ding Hou: Central Celebes

G. ledermanii Domke: New Guinea (Sepik, Mt. Pfingst)

G. moluccana (Miq.) Baill. Buru

G. salicifolia Ridl.: Western Papua (Utakwa, Nabire)

G. podocarpus (Gilg.): Domke Western Papua (Ramoi, Sorong, Monep,


G. versteegii : Western Papua, Lesser Sunda Islands. 

G. walla Gaertner. (possibly, if not syn. G. versteegii).


In addition the following genera are also associated with gaharu:


[a genus of one species] producing gaharu-buaya which includes:

A. sympetalum  (W. Sarawak & Borneo) (“puk-puk” gaharu).


(Mabberley indicates a genus of 3 species). Species producing gaharu include:


Enkleia malaccensis (Adamantan/Nicobar Islands), Borneo (Ganung Palung).



 (Mabberley indictes a genus of 20 species). Spp. producing gaharu in Papua New Guinea include:


P. macrocarpa (Scheff.) Boerl. (also known as “puk-puk gaharu”).



(for which Mabberley (1998) indicates a genus of fifty species).

W. adorosaemifolia : East Nusa Tenggara (where it is known as “cue” or “sue”) Ref: (Universitas Nusa Cendana-UNC 1996).

W. polyantha : West Papua in Manojwari (where it is known as gaharu sirsak) (Mai and Suripatty 1996).

W. tenuiramis : West Papua in Manojwari (where it is known as gaharu cengkeh) (Mai and Suripatty 1996).


Gonystylus spp.

The genus Gonystylus comprises 31 species, being chiefly distributed across the Malesion tropical rainforest region, extending to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji (Tawan 1999). Most of the taxonomic descriptions of the Gonystylus genus has been provided by the work of  Airy Shaw from 1946-1973, featured across a number of editions of the Kew Bulletin, and in two articles of the Flora Malesiana Soc. Lower quality gaharu eminating from Gonystylus spp. has been mentioned by Wollenberg (2001).


G. bancanus (Miq.) Kurz. Better known as ramin.

G. macrophyllus









Update August 2005

Following on from the resolutions of the 13th CITES meeting in Bangkok  in Oct 2004, the EU Commission has a new regulation (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1332/2005 of 9 August 2005) amending Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora, by regulating trade therein (this follows on from the resolutions of the 13th CITES meeting in Bangkok  in Oct 2004).

For our purposes, and considering only the aromatic species affected, it is a reclassification whereby Aquilaria spp. (except for A. malaccensis, which was already listed in Appendix II), Gyrinops spp. and Gonystylus spp. (previously listed in Appendix III) were included in Appendix II* to the Convention. 

The regulation affects all parts and derivatives of the above species, except: (a) seeds, spores and pollen (including pollinia); (b) seedling or tissue cultures obtained in vitro, in solid or liquid media, transported in sterile containers, and (c) cut flowers of artificially propagated plants.

[*Appendix II includes species not considered to be under the same threat as those in Appendix I, but which may become so if trade is not regulated. International trade in these species is monitored through a licensing system to ensure that trade can be sustained without detriment to wild populations. Appendix III contains species that are not necessarily threatened on a global level, but that are protected within individual states where that state has sought the help of other CITES Parties to control international trade in that species].

This outcome may give a little more muscle in the fight to combat the "eco-mafia" who make a trade out of smuggling protected species. However as is stated elsewhere in this data-base, licenses are easily fabricated at point of export by the “eco-mafia” and despatched to the receiving customers of these illicit goods.