Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Homalium spp. (Malas)

Nomenclature etc. FLACOURTIACEAE. Homalium foetidum (Roxb.) Benth., H. longifolium Benth., H. tomentosum (Vent.) Benth. Trade and local names: malas, aranga, Burma lancewood (GB, trade); gia, dlingsem, melmas, momala (ID); selimbar, petaling, padang, takaliu, banisian (MY); aranga (PH); myaukchaw, myaukugo (MM); khen nang (LA); kha nang (TH). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: Burma to Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown to yellow. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour, or distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.72–1.1 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows or radial rows of 4 or more. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 50–130 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² (18–)24–30(–56). Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–5 µm, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders or with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits, of uniform size or type or of two distinct sizes or types in the same ray cell, of the same type in adjacent elements or unilaterally compound and coarse. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Average fibre length 1100–2100 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres exclusively septate. Septate fibres evenly distributed.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty, or vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–4.

Rays. Rays 11–19 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 3–5 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells or with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls indistinct or absent.

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. Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square, upright and/or square ray cells chambered or not chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one, or more than one. Crystals in one cell or chamber of the same size, or of two distinct sizes. Crystal containing cells of normal size. Cystoliths absent. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Homalium foetidum. • Tangential section. Homalium foetidum. • Radial section. Homalium foetidum.


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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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