Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Licania spp. - Tropical America (grigri, caraipé)

Nomenclature etc. CHRYSOBALANACEAE. Incl. L. angustata Prance, L. apetala (E. Meyer) Fritsch, L. divaricata Benth., L. elliptica Standl., L. heteromorpha Benth.,i L. hypoleuca Benth., L. incana Aubl., L. longistyla (Hook. F.) Fritsch, L. macrophylla Benth., L. membranacea Sagot ex Laness., L. oblongifolia Stench., L. octandra (Hoffmannsegg ex Roem. & Schultes) Kuntze, L. ovalifolia Kleinhoonte, L. parvifolia Benth., L. platypus (Hemsl.) Fritsch, L. polita Spruce ex Hook.f., L. robusta Sagot. Trade and local names: anauerá, caraipé, turiuva (BR); anaura, grigri, fengoe (SME); kautaballi, konoko (GUY); zapote (CR, MEX, PE); carbonero (PE, CO, YV). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Geographic distribution: tropical South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown and red, with streaks. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.88–1.13 g/cm³. Wood of commercial potential.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in diagonal and/or radial pattern and no specific pattern, exclusively solitary. Vessel outline rounded. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter (70–)100–180(–300) µm; diameter of vessel lumina: medium and large. Average number of vessels/mm² 3–6; vessels per square millimetre very few. Vessels smaller (50–200 µm) in L. elliptica, L. heteromorpha, L. polita; 8–10 vessels per mm² in L. elliptica, L. apetala.. Perforation plates simple. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular and horizontal to vertical, of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, sclerotic. Other deposits in heartwood vessels not observed.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thick-walled. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, distinctly bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded and not banded. Axial parenchyma bands not marginal (or seemingly marginal), reticulate, fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 6–12. Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, 13–18 per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate and multiseriate (also if only few), 1–2 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular) and two or more cell types (heterocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls indistinct or absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

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 not observed. Cystoliths absent. Silica present, as grains, in rays cells.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract not fluorescent. Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown. Chrome azurol-S test positive. Froth test negative. Splinter burns to partial ash. Ash white to grey.

Illustrations. • Transverse section: Licania sp.. Licania sp. • Tangential section: Licania sp.. Licania sp. • Radial section: Licania sp.. Licania sp. • Transverse section: L. platypus. Licania platypus. • Tangential section: L. platypus. Licania platypus. • Radial section: L. platypus. Licania platypus. • Silica: L. parviflora. Licania parviflora. All Licania species feature silica particles in rays though variable in size and quantity.


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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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