Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Calophyllum spp. (Bintangor)

Nomenclature etc. GUTTIFERAE. C. floribundum Hook.f., C. inophyllum L., C. papuanum Laut., C. vitiense Turrill, Calophyllum spp. Trade and local names: bintangor (MY, DE), bitaog, kalofilum, kamdeb, tamanu, bakokol, entangor, mentangor (MY), ponnyet, tharapi (MM), domba-gassa (LK), bansangal, vutalau, zarumayen (PH), vintanina (MG), palo maría (PH = C. inophyllum), Alexandrien laurel (IN -- C. inophyllum); other Calophyllum species occur in tropical America and are traded under different names. Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically brown to red to white or grey. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.43–0.6–0.8 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in diagonal and/or radial pattern, exclusively solitary. Two distinct vessel diameter classes present. Average tangential vessel diameter 45–310 µm (large vessels: 145–190–310, small vessels: 45–80–125). Average number of vessels/mm² 6–10. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–7 µm. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, horizontal to vertical. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids commonly present. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, distinctly bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), bands much wider than rays, fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric and confluent. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–8.

Rays. Rays 10–13 per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate (in few specimens also biserate). 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 or mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells (rarely).

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals rarely present, traumatic origin, radial type.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Ethanol extract fluorescent (orange or pinkish). Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown to red or shade of red. Froth test negative. Splinter burns to full ash. Ash white to grey.

Illustrations. • Macro images. Transverse. Radial. Tangential. Calophyllum sp. (Asia). • Transverse section. Calophyllum vitiense. • Tangential section. Calophyllum leucocarpum. • Radial section. Calophyllum sp. • Miscellaneous. Calophyllum blancoi. Tyloses occasionally well developed. Calophyllum tomentosum. Note: Vasicentric tracheids (bordered pits) and palisade type vessel-ray pitting.

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.’.