Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Parinari spp. (AF: sougue, SA: parinari, SEA: merbatu)

Nomenclature etc. CHRYSOBALANACEAE. Incl. P. anamense Hance, P. campestris Aublet, P. corymbosa (Bl.) Miq., P. curatellifolia Planch. ex Benth., P. excelsa Sabine, P. glaberrima (Hassk.) Hassk., P. kerstingii Engl., P. salomonensis C.T. White. Trade and local names: AF: sougue, mampataz, mubura, ofam, assila, eshagho, mubara, aramon; SA: parinari, tostado, fengoe hedoe, burada, vonkhout, caraipé-rana, farinha seca, uchpa-umarí; SEA: merbatu, parinari, sea beam (GB); baritu (BRU); kolaka (RI); bangkawang, nyalin, obah ngilas (MAL); bari-tadiang (RP); tauk-kade (BUR); maphok (T). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 16. Tree. Geographic distribution: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indomalesia, tropical Africa, and tropical South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown, yellow, and white or grey, with streaks. Odour indistinct or absent. Wood of commercial potential.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, exclusively solitary. Vessel outline rounded. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 135–300–450 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: very large. Average number of vessels/mm² (1–)2–4; vessels per square millimetre very few. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, horizontal to vertical, of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels not observed.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres of medium wall thickness and very thick-walled. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, distinctly bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded. Axial parenchyma bands not marginal (or seemingly marginal), reticulate and bands much wider than rays, fine, up to three cells wide and coarse, more than three cells wide. Parenchyma bands sometimes discontinuous. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 8–15. Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, (11–)13–14(–17) per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate and multiseriate (also if only few) (predominantly uniseriate), 1–2 cells wide, narrow (2–3 seriate). Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular) and two or more cell types (heterocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls indistinct or absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent. Other cambial variants absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Cystoliths absent. Silica present, as grains, in rays cells.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract not fluorescent. Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown. Chrome azurol-S test negative. Froth test negative. Splinter burns to partial ash. Ash bright white.

Illustrations. • Transverse section: P. excelsa. Parinari excelsa. • Transverse section: P. kerstingii. Parinari kerstingii. • Tangential section: P. kerstingii. Parinari kerstingii. • Radial section: Parinari sp.. Parinari sp.


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., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2000 onwards. Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Version: 25th June 2009. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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