Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Diospyros virginiana L. (Helles Ebenholz, persimmon)

Nomenclature etc. EBENACEAE. Trade and local names: persimmon (US, trade. Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: North America.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically white or grey (only the light-coloured sapwood is traded; formation of black heartwood is rare). Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.75–0.95 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood semi-ring-porous or diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows or radial rows of 4 or more. Average tangential vessel diameter 100–160 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 5–12. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–4 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels not observed.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, distinctly bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands reticulate, fine, up to three cells wide. Bands predominantly uniseriate, some possibly indicating growth boundaries (marginal?). Axial parenchyma apotracheal, or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty, or vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–8.

Rays. Rays 9–12 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–3 cells wide. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. Sporadically also biseriate rays.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, all rays storied, axial parenchyma storied, vessel elements storied, fibres storied. Arrangement of tiers regular (horizontal or straight). Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 2–3.

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.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Diospyros virginiana. • Tangential section. Diospyros virginiana. • Radial section. Diospyros virginiana.


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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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