Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Guibourtia coleosperma (Benth.) J. Léonard (Mushibi)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-CAESALPINIOIDEAE. Syn.: Copaifera coleosperma Benth. Trade and local names: wood quite similar to 'bubinga' but traded under separate names: mushibi, copalier, Rhodesian copalwood (GB), muzaule (ZW). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically red red to purple, with streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.72–0.76–0.88 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 80–130–180 µm. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–9 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (dark brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded or not banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, aliform, and confluent. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand (2–)4–8.

Rays. Rays multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)2–5(–6) cells wide. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals 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.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood fluorescent (green). Water extract not fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown to red or shade of red. Ethanol extract fluorescent (purple). Colour of ethanol extract red or shade of red. Froth test positive, or negative.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Guibourtia coleosperma. • Tangential section. Guibourtia coleosperma. • Radial section. Guibourtia coleosperma.

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.’.