Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Nothofagus menziesii Oerst. (Silver beech)

Nomenclature etc. FAGACEAE. Syn.: Fagus menziesii Hook. f. Trade and local names: silver "beech", southland "beech" (NZ). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: New Zealand.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically red to brown (pinkish to reddish brown). Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour, or distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.44–0.48–0.52 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded, or angular. Perforation plates simple or scalariform (rarely scalariform). Intervessel pits scalariform to opposite (mostly opposite). Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular or horizontal to vertical (rarely extended, then horizontal), restricted to marginal rows. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

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

Rays. Rays multiseriate (also if only few), 1–2 cells wide (in some specimens predominantly uniseriate, on others predominantly biseriate). 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).

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Nothofagus menziesii. • Tangential section. Nothofagus menziesii. • Radial section. Nothofagus menziesii. • Intervascular pitting. Nothofagus menziesii.

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.’.