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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Gymnanthes lucida Sw. (Yaití)

Nomenclature etc. EUPHORBIACEAE. Syn.: Sebastiania lucida Muell. Arg., Ateramnus lucidus (Sw.) Rothm. Trade and local names: crabwood, crab bush, oysterwood, poisonwood (US-Florida); aceitillo, aité, aití, nagrona, yaité bobo, yaitecillo, yaya macho (CU); baboncillo (PR); bois marbré (HT); granadillo, palo de tabaco (DO); bois vert, bois madre, casse haches, colas, ebène verte, ebène verte brune (FR); false lignum-vitae (BZ); yaitil (MX); ébano verde (cAm). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 3. Tree. Geographic distribution: Mexico and Central America and Caribbean.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown (olive hue oliváceo), with streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour (outer heartwood and sapwood light yellowish-brown parte exterior del duramen y albura de color castano amarillento claro). Odour indistinct or absent. Density 1–1.2 g/cm³. Wood of no commercial potential.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows to radial rows of 4 or more. Vessel outline rounded. Vessels very thick-walled vasos de paredes muy gruesas. Average tangential vessel diameter (30–)45(–70) µm; diameter of vessel lumina: small. Average number of vessels/mm² 40–50; vessels per square millimetre numerous. Average vessel element length 400–450 µm. Average vessel element length medium. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–7 µm, small, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits, of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (yellow to dark brown amarillo à castano oscuro).

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thick-walled. Average fibre length 400–450 µm. Average fibre length short. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, not banded. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6.

Rays. Rays 18–22 per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate. Height of large rays up to 500 µm. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with procumbent, square and upright cells mixed throughout the ray. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls distinct, or indistinct or absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in ray cells. Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square and procumbent. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica present, in aggregates, in rays cells (silica aggrgates large, often filling the entire cell agregados de silice grandes, frecuentemente llenando la célula completamente).

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Gymnanthes lucida. • Tangential section. Gymnanthes lucida. Blow-up of uniseriate rays containing both prismatic crystals and silica aggregates. • Radial section. Gymnanthes lucida. • Mineral inclusions in rays. Gymnanthes lucida. Rays containing both prismatic crystals (CR) and silica aggregates (SI). CR. CR. CR. SI. SI. SI.


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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