Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Cavanillesia platanifolia H.B.K. (Cuipo)

Nomenclature etc. BOMBACACEAE. Trade and local names: cuipo, quipo (CO, PA). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: Mexico and Central America, or tropical South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically white or grey. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.1–0.25 g/cm³. Wood of no commercial potential.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows or radial rows of 4 or more. Average tangential vessel diameter (110–)230–360 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 1–3. Average vessel element length 520–640–760 µm. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–9 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders or with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits or different from intervessel pits, rounded or angular or horizontal to vertical. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled. Average fibre length 1460–1880–2320 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate. Extremely few fibres, ca. 5% of wood volume.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma apotracheal, or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6. Axial and radial parenchyma abundant, occupying 70–90% of wood volume.

Rays. Rays 2–5 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 4–8 cells wide. Height of large rays commonly over 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. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls indistinct or absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, rays not storied, axial parenchyma storied, vessel elements storied, fibres storied. Arrangement of tiers regular (horizontal or straight), or irregular.

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 present, prismatic, located in ray cells. Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square (sheath cells). Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Cavanillesia platanifolia. • Tangential section. Cavanillesia platanifolia. • Radial section. Cavanillesia platanifolia.


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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