Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Guibourtia spp. (Bubinga)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-CAESALPINIOIDEAE. G. demeusei (Harms) J. Léonard - Syn.: Copaifera demeusei Harms, C. laurentii de Wild.; G. pellegriniana J. Léonard; G. tessmannii (Harms) J. Léonard - Syn.: Copaifera tessmannii Harms. Trade and local names: bubinga (DE, GB, CG, CM); kevazingo (DE, GA); essingang, noméle, okweni, owogn, simingan (CM); ovang (GA); oveng (GQ); waka (CG, CD); ebana, Afrikanisches Rosenholz, African rosewood (trade). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Growthring limits demarcated by marginal parenchyma and changes in vessel frequency; often wildly figured due to interlocked grain in combination with other grain deviations. Heartwood basically red red to purple, with streaks (dark reddish brown to purple). Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.72–0.76–0.88 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 60–140–220 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 1–3–5. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 7–9 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (light to dark reddish brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Average fibre length 1630–1780–1860 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate. Fibre pits quite distinct.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded and not banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse (mostly thick-walled, often sclerosed, crystalliferous and located immediately adjacent to rays). Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, aliform, and confluent. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand (2–)4–8.

Rays. Rays 4–8 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)2–5(–6) cells wide (G. tessmannii und G. pellegriniana with wider rays than G. demeusei). Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals present (rare) or absent, traumatic origin, axial type, in short tangential lines.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Crystal containing cells mostly of normal size (sometimes in slightly enlarged chambers). Cristalliferous cells/chambers often thick-walled. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Macro images. Guibourtia tessmannii. Transverse. Tangential. • Transverse section. Guibourtia tessmannii. • Tangential section. Guibourtia tessmannii. • Radial section. Guibourtia tessmannii.

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.’.