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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Koompassia malaccensis Maing. (Kempas)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-CAESALPINIOIDEAE. Trade and local names: kempas (MY, ID, MY-sar, GB, NL), hampas, pah, mengris, impas, toemaling, garis, ajam (ID). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries demarcated by fine marginal bands. Heartwood basically brown to red brown to yellow. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.7–0.82–0.9 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 196–255–314 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 3–4. Average vessel element length 314–510–666 µm. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (brown).

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

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma aliform and confluent. Aliform parenchyma lozenge and winged. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 6–9.

Rays. Rays multiseriate (also if only few), 2 cells wide (few 3-seriates). 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 absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, all rays storied, axial parenchyma storied or not storied, vessel elements storied or not storied, fibres storied or not storied.

Cambial variants. Included phloem present, diffuse.

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

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Koompassia malaccensis. • Tangential section. Koompassia malaccensis. • Radial section. Koompassia malaccensis.


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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