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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Ocotea puberula (Rich.) Nees (Laurel guaika)

Nomenclature etc. LAURACEAE. Syn.: Ocotea baturitensis Vattimo, O. martiniana (Nees)Mez, O. paraensis Coe-Teixeira, O. paranapiacabensisCoe-Teixeira, O. puberula var.truncata (Meissn.)Mez, O. pyramidataBlake ex Brandegee, O. subglabrata Benoist, O. ucayalensis O.C. Schmidt Oreodaphne acutifolia var.latifolia Nees, Oreodaphne hostmannianaMiq. Oreodaphne martiniana var. latifolia Meissn., Oreodaphne warmingii Meissn. Strychnodaphne puberula Nees & Mart.ex Nees,. Trade and local names: laurel guaika, guaika (PY); guaica, canela-sebo, canela-parda, canela-de-corvo, canela-pimenta, canela pinho (BR); guaika blanca, guaicá, canela guaica (AR); moraja kaspi (PE); keretiballi(SR). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 13 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: Mexico and Central America, tropical South America, southern Brazil, and temperate South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct and indistinct or absent. Growth ring boundaries demarcated by a latewood band of smaller, thicker walled and radially flattened fibres. Heartwood basically brown, without streaks. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.4–0.5 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded and angular. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 60–120–150 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: large. Average number of vessels/mm² 4–50; vessels per square millimetre few and moderately numerous. Average vessel element length 418–612–756 µm. Average vessel element length medium. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 10–15 µm, large, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, different from intervessel pits, rounded or angular and horizontal to vertical, of uniform size or type and of two distinct sizes or types in the same ray cell, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled. Other deposits in heartwood vessels not observed.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled. Average fibre length 840–1080–1230 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 present, not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–7. Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, 5–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 cells wide, narrow (2–3 seriate) and of medium width (3–5 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. 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 and ray parenchyma. Oil and mucialge cells present in both axial and radial parenchyma, however infrequent. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

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

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, needle-like (acicular), located in ray cells. Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square and procumbent, upright and/or square ray cells not chambered. Crystals in procumbent ray cells not in radial alignment. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one and more than one. Crystals in one cell or chamber of the same size. Crystal containing cells of normal size. Cystoliths absent. Few acicular crystals in some specimens, absent in others. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Ocotea puberula. • Tangential section. Ocotea puberula. • Radial section. Ocotea puberula.


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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