CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval

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

Entandrophragma cylindricum (Sprague) Sprague (Sapeli)

Nomenclature. Family: MELIACEAE. Synonym(s): E. tomentosum, E. lebrunii. Further trade and local names: sapele, sapele mahagany (GB, NG); sapeli Mahonie (NL); aboudikro (CI, FR, DE); bibitu, lotouhé, abitigbro, boubousson, pan (CI); penkwa (GH); agiekpogo, ubilesan, ukwekan (NG); assié (CM); lifaki (UG); lifaki, libuyu, bobwe, m'boyo (CF); lifuti or livuite (AO). Code according to DIN EN 13556: ENCY. Internal code: SAP.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Not protected.

Geographic distribution. Tropical Africa. Tropical regions of West-, Central and East Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, RCA., Zaïre, Angola, Congo, Uganda).

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries distinct, or indistinct or absent (demarcated by fine marginal parenchyma bands which are not always macroscopically distinct). Heartwood basically brown, red; without streaks. Sapwood distinct from heartwood colour (of medium width). Sapwood greyish, heartwood variable from light pinkish-brown to reddish-brown, darkening to deep red-brown upon exposure.The banded parenchyma may occasionally produce a subtle figure (V-shaped irregular arcs) in flat-sawn material. Odour distinct (fresh wood has a slightly sour smell, dry wood a subtle but persistent aromatic (cedar-like) odour). Wood of medium weight (0,60–0,65–0,70 g/cm3). Interlocked grain present (generally very pronounced, producing a well-marked stripe or roe figure on accurately quarter-cut faces).

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

Vessels (pores). Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels (pores) in multiples; commonly in short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessels medium to large (90–140–200 µm); few (9–17). Tyloses absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels (pores) present (reddish brown), or absent (in case sapwood is mistaken for heartwood).

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present; banded and not banded. Parenchyma bands exclusively marginal (or seemingly marginal); narrow and wide. Other macroscopically visible types of axial parenchyma: diffuse-in-aggregates (short to long wavy bands between marginal bands, often rather inconspicuous).

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

Storied structure. Storied structure present, or absent (storied rays present in some specimens (ca. 60%), absent in others). Tiers regular (horizontal or slightly inclined), or irregular; 2 per axial millimetre.

Resin canals. Normal resin canals absent (resin canals occasionally present are of traumatic origin).

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown, or red. Ethanol extract fluorescent (weakly yellow); yellow. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to partial ash (under emission of heavy smoke); colour of ash bright white.

Additional information. Informationsdienst Holz Merkblatt Nr. 2. • sap.jpg. Entandrophragma cylindricum (Sapeli). Transverse section ca. 10x. Radial surface, natural size.


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. delta-intkey.com’.

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