Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Shorea spp., subg. Anthoshorea (White meranti, melapi)

Nomenclature etc. DIPTEROCARPACEAE. S. assamica, S. bracteolata, S. dealbata, S. hypochra, S. javanica, S. lamellata, etc. Trade and local names: white meranti (MY, ID, trade); meranti putih, kayu tahan (ID); melapi (MY-sab, ID-kal); white lauan (PH); lumbor (KH); khiem kha norng, takhian-sai, chai, pa-nong (TH); bo-bo (VN). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically yellow white or grey. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Density 0.45–0.67–0.85 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter (170–)230–270 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 4–9. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–7 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders or with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits, rounded or angular. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids commonly present. Fibres very thin-walled, or of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma in some species banded or not banded. Axial parenchyma bands fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, or aliform, or confluent. Aliform parenchyma winged. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6.

Rays. Rays 4–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), (2–)3–4 cells wide. 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, axial parenchyma storied.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals present, axial type, in long tangential lines or in short tangential lines.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Silica present, as grains, in rays cells.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Shorea gratissima. • Tangential section. Shorea symingtonii. • Radial section. Shorea ochracea. silica particles in rays of all species.


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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