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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Terminalia spp. Asia II (Ketapang)

Nomenclature etc. COMBRETACEAE. T. catappa L., T. complanata K. Schumann, T. copelandii Elmer, T. microcarpa Decne., T. nitens Presl, T. rubiginosa K. Schumann, T. sepicana Diels, T. solomonensis Exell, etc. Trade and local names: T. catappa: Indian almond (GB), badamier (FR), jelawai ketapang (MY), talisai (RP); T. copelandii: ketapang darat (RI), lanipau (RP); T. microcarpa: selumpit (RI), kalumpit (RP); T. nitens: sakat (RP); T. rubiginosa: red-brown terminalia (PNG); T. solomonensis: brown terminalia (PNG). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 15. Tree. Geographic distribution: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indomalesia, and Pacific Islands.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown red yellow. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour, or distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.21–0.6 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded. Average tangential vessel diameter 150–300 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: large, or very large. Average number of vessels/mm² 2–10; vessels per square millimetre very few, or few. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–9 µm, small or medium, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present or absent, thinwalled (occasionally).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres very thin-walled, or of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 1200–1400 µm. Average fibre length medium. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres exclusively septate (T. microcarpa, fide Soerianegara et al. 1995), or non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma aliform, or confluent. Aliform parenchyma winged. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 5–7.

Rays. Rays 5–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 cells wide, narrow (2–3 seriate). Height of large rays up to 500 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular) (predominantly), or 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.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent. Intercellular canals present or absent, traumatic origin (occasionally), axial type, in short tangential lines. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent.

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

Illustrations. • Transverse section: T. solomonensis. Terminalia solomonensis (medium density). • Tangential section: T. solomonensis. Terminalia solomonensis (medium density). • Radial section: T. solomonensis. Terminalia solomonensis (medium density). • Transverse section: T. rubiginosa. Terminalia rubiginosa (low density). • Tangential section: T. rubiginosa. Terminalia rubiginosa (low density). • Radial section: T. rubiginosa. Terminalia rubiginosa (low density). • Crystals (druses) in axial parenchyma. Terminalia solomonensis. Terminalia catappa. Large druses (in idioblasts) in wood of Terminalia ("ketapang" group).


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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