Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Quercus(l) spp., SE Asia (Mempening, live oak)

Nomenclature etc. FAGACEAE. The trade timber 'mempening' also includes species of Lithocarpus. Trade and local names: mempening oak, Sunda oak (trade); pasang (MY, ID); ko (TH). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka to Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct or indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.75–1.1 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in diagonal and/or radial pattern, exclusively solitary. Average tangential vessel diameter 100–250 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 5–10. Perforation plates simple. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular or horizontal to vertical. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids commonly present (vasicentric). Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Average fibre length 900–2200 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 6–8.

Rays. Rays 10–12 per tangential mm (only uniseriates), multiseriate (also if only few), 8–20 cells wide (only large rays). Aggregate rays present, or absent. Rays of two distinct sizes. Height of large rays commonly over 1000 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent. Other cambial variants absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in ray cells or axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing ray cells procumbent, upright and/or square ray cells chambered or not chambered. Crystals in procumbent ray cells not in radial alignment. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Quercus lineata. • Transverse section. Quercus poculiformis. • Tangential section. Quercus lineata. • Radial section. Quercus lineata.


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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