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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Dendropanax spp. (Maria-mole, amba'y ra)

Nomenclature etc. ARALIACEAE. D. arboreus (L.) Decne. & Planch. (syn.: Gilibertia arborea (L.) Marchal); D. cuneatus (A.DC.) Decne. & Planch. (syn.: Gilibertia cuneata (A.DC.) Marchal). Trade and local names: D. cuneatus: guiné, maria-mole, mandioca (BR); amba'y ra, ombu ra (PY). D. arboreus: cuajada (HO); ramón de vaca, víbona, palo santo (CU); cacho, zopilote (CR); zapotillo (MX). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: temperate Asia to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia (asian species not considered in the description especies asiáticas no consideradas en la descripción), or Mexico and Central America to southern Brazil.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically white or grey. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows and in clusters. Vessel outline angular. Perforation plates scalariform and reticulate, foraminate or other types, with (1–)3–10(–15) bars. Intervessel pits scalariform, opposite, and alternate, average diameter (vertical) 8–12 µm, medium. Scalariform intervascular pitting usually restricted to overlapping vessel tails. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, different from intervessel pits, rounded or angular. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled to of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres exclusively septate. Septate fibres evenly distributed, or scattered near vessels and rays.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 3–8.

Rays. Rays present, multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)3–5(–6) cells wide, of medium width (3–5 seriate). Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm. 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. Sheath cells present (occasionally ocasionalmente).

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals present, radial type.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Dendropanax cf cuneatus. • Tangential section. Dendropanax cf cuneatus. • Radial section. Dendropanax arboreus. • Miscellaneous. Dendropanax spp. Details (from left to right) of: intercellular radial canals, vessel-ray pitting, sheath cells, types of multiple perforation plates.


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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