Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Nothofagus dombeyi (Mirb.) Oerst., Nothofagus spp. (Coigue, rauli, lenga)

Nomenclature etc. FAGACEAE. + N. procera (Poepp. & Endl.) Oerst. (Syn.: N. nervosa (Phil.) Dim. & Mil.); N. procera (Poepp. & Endl.) Oerst. (Syn.: N. alpina (Poepp. & Endl.) Oerst, Fagus procera Poepp. & Endl.); N. obliqua (Mirb.) Oerst. (Syn.: N. obliqua Bl.); N. pumilio (Poepp. & Endl.) Krasser (Syn.: Fagus pumilio Poepp. & Endl.). Trade and local names: N. dombeyi: coigue (DE, CL, AR); "Feuerland-Kirsche" (DE); N. procera: rauli (DE, GB, AR, CL), Chilean "beech", South American "beech" (US); N. obliqua: roble, pellin, roble pellin (DE, CL, AR); N. pumilio: lenga, roble blanco (DE, CL, AR. Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: temperate South America (southern Chile and Argentina).

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically red to brown (pinkish brown; 'coigue' and 'lenga' mostly lighter coloured than 'rauli' and 'roble'). Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour, or distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.46–0.52–0.57 g/cm³ ('coigue': 0.54; 'lenga': 0.52; 'rauli', 'roble': 0.50).

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded, or angular. Average tangential vessel diameter 30–50–70 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 70–85–95 ('rauli'; 'lenga': 30–50–55, 90–120–140/mm²). Average vessel element length 430–700–940 µm ('coigue'). Perforation plates simple or scalariform (rarely scalariform). Intervessel pits scalariform to opposite (mostly opposite), average diameter (vertical) 6–7 µm. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular or horizontal to vertical, restricted to marginal rows. Helical thickenings present (observed only in N. pumilio) or absent, in narrow and wide vessel elements, throughout the body of vessel elements. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids commonly present. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 800–1150–1560 µm ('rauli'; 'lenga': 650–685–730). Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma absent or extremely rare. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse (earlywood only). Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 6–8.

Rays. Rays 8–18 per tangential mm ('rauli'), exclusively uniseriate or multiseriate (also if only few) (rays of N. dombeyiv in some specimens exclusively uniseriate, in others mixed with few biseriates; rays exclusively uniseriate in N. pumilio; rays predominantly biseriate with few uniseriates in N. procera and N. obliqua), 1–2 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions rarely present. 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 (rarely two marginal rows).

Storied structures. In some specimens tendency for formation of irregular storeying (rays).

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present (few crystals observed only in N. dombeyi), 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. Nothofagus dombeyi. • Tangential section. Nothofagus dombeyi. Inset: 'opposite' intervessel pitting. • Radial section. Nothofagus dombeyi.

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.’.