Gmelina arborea, a fast growing tree, reaching a height of between 12 and 30 m, is a provider of tropical commercial wood. It is undemanding as far as climate and soil are concerned. It is cultivated in South East Asia, West Africa and South America. The lower part of the trunk is free of branches. Very often it grows askew and the treetop is invitingly wide. The heartwood is brownish-yellow to light-coloured and the sap wood has more or less the same colour. Its blossoms from February to April and bears fruit from May to June. The ripe fruit has an orange-yellow colour. With a density of 0,4 to 0,6 g/cu. cm the wood is very light.
The tree derives its name from the German botanist Gmelin (1709 –1755).