Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Gonioma kamassi E. Meyer (Kamassi, Knysna box)

Nomenclature etc. APOCYNACEAE. Syn.: Tabernaemontana kamassi Eckl., Gonioma kamassi var. brachycarpum E. Meyer. Trade and local names: kamassi, kamassiwood, Knysna boxwood, false Cape box (ZA). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree, or shrub. Geographic distribution: southern Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct or indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically yellow, without streaks. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.7–0.9 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, exclusively solitary. Average tangential vessel diameter 30–55 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 50–80. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–4 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present ((yellow)).

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

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma apotracheal, or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–8. Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays 6–11 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)3–5(–6) cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of two distinct sizes. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells or mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells present. 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. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood fluorescent ((green)). Water extract fluorescent ((bluish-green)); basically yellow or shade of yellow. Ethanol extract fluorescent ((bright yellowish-green)). Colour of ethanol extract yellow or shade of yellow.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Gonioma kamassi. • Tangential section. Gonioma kamassi. • Radial section. Gonioma kamassi.


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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