CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval


H. G. Richter, K. Gembruch, G. Koch

Terminalia superba Engl.& Diels (Limba)

Nomenclature. Family: COMBRETACEAE. Further trade and local names: limba blanc, limba clair (FR); limbo (CG); white afara (GB); fraké (CI); akom (CM, GQ); afara (NG); ofram (GH); moulimba (AO); chêne-limbo (FR) for wood with a figured heartwood: dark afara, dark limba (GB); limba noir, limba bariolé, noyer du Mayombe (FR). Code according to DIN EN 13556: TMSP. Internal code: LIM.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Not protected.

Geographic distribution. Tropical Africa.

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries distinct, or indistinct or absent. Under seasonal climate conditions growth increment borders can be demarcated by a slightly darker latewood band. Heartwood basically yellow, white or grey, green; without streaks. Sapwood similar to heartwood colour, or distinct from heartwood colour (only figured (dark) heartwood distinct from sapwood). Wood of medium weight (0,4–0,52–0,69 g/cm3). Interlocked grain present. Other grain irregularities often combine with interlocked grain to form mottled, wavy and other patterns on wood surfaces.

Hardwood vs softwood. Vessels (pores) present (= hardwood).

Vessels (pores). Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels (pores) arranged in no specific pattern; in multiples; commonly in short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessels large (70–170–300 µm); very few (3–4). Tyloses present, or absent (in case sapwood is mistaken for heartwood). Other deposits in heartwood vessels (pores) present (dark brown contents in figured heartwood ('dark limba') only), or absent (in case sapwood is mistaken for heartwood).

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present; not banded. Other macroscopically visible types of axial parenchyma: vasicentric, aliform, and confluent. Aliform parenchyma of the lozenge type and winged. Coarsly confluent parenchyma may extend into shorter to longer bands forming a pattern of jagged V-shaped markings on flat-sawn faces.

Rays. Rays narrow. Large rays commonly less than 1 mm high.

Resin canals. Normal resin canals absent.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown. Heartwood extractives leaching out when in contact with water (pale yellow). Ethanol extract fluorescent (light pinkish violet); colourless to brown. Splinter burns to partial ash; colour of ash white to grey. The combustion is accompanied by characteristic crackles, emission of sparks and heavy smoke.

Additional information. Informationsdienst Holz Merkblatt Nr. 19. • lim.jpg. Wood surface, natural size. Transverse section ca. 10x. Terminalia superba (Limba).

The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., Gembruch, K., and Koch, G. 2014 onwards. CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, and Spanish. Version: 16th May 2014.’.