Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Didelotia spp. (Gombé)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-CAESALPINIOIDEAE. Didelotia brevipaniculata J. Léonard, D. idae Oldeman, de Witt & J. Léonard, D. letouzey Pellegr., etc. Trade and local names: gombe (CM); bondu, ngoo, sapo, toubaouate, timba (LR); broutou (CI); angok (GA). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct or indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.58–0.7 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 180–250 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 2–6. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–4 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits, of uniform size or type. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (yellowish to red-brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 900–2000 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide or coarse, more than three cells wide. Marginal parenchyma bands only sporadic and little evident. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma aliform, or confluent. Aliform parenchyma lozenge. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6.

Rays. Rays 12–18 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–2 cells wide. 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.

Storied structures. Storied structure present or absent, all rays storied, axial parenchyma not storied. Arrangement of tiers irregular. Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 3. Rays storied in some species, e.g. D. brevipaniculata, in others non-storied, e.g. D. idae.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals absent.

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Didelotia idae. • Tangential section. Didelotia idae. • Radial section. Didelotia idae.


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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