Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Nothaphoebe spp. (Medang)

Nomenclature etc. LAURACEAE. Important species: Nothaphoebe archboldiana, N. elata, N. kingiana, N. malabonga, N. malayphoebe, N. panduriformis, N. spathulata, N. umbelliflora. Trade and local names: medang (ID, MY). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 20 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown and green (light brown with various shades of green to olive), without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.35–0.55 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded to angular. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 140–220(–300) µm; diameter of vessel lumina: large to very large. Average number of vessels/mm² 9–17; vessels per square millimetre few. Perforation plates simple. Occasionally with scalariform perforations which are, however, not characteristic of the genus. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 11–15(–18) µm, large, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular, of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements or unilaterally compound and coarse. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled, or of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 900–1500 µm. Average fibre length medium. 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 not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric to confluent. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–8. Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays 5–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 cells wide, narrow (2–3 seriate). Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm. 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 to mostly 2–4 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 present, associated with axial parenchyma or ray parenchyma. Oil cells associated primarily with axial parenchyma, rarely with rays. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

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

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Cystoliths absent. Silica present or not observed, as grains, in fibres. Silica observed in: Nothaphoebe kingiana, N. malabonga, N. malayphoebe.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Nothaphoebe archboldiana. • Tangential section. Nothaphoebe archboldiana. • Radial section. Nothaphoebe archboldiana. • Miscellaneous. Large ray-vessel pits (Nothaphoebe malabonga). Silica particles in fibres (Nothaphoebe kingiana).

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.’.