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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Carapa guianensis Aubl. (Andiroba)

Nomenclature etc. MELIACEAE. Syn.: C. nicaraguensis DC., Persoonia guareoides Willd., Amapa guianensis (Aubl.) Steudel, Xylocarpus carapa Sprengel, Granatum nicaraguense (C.DC.) O. Kuntze, Guarea mucronulata C.DC. Trade and local names: andiroba (DE, BR), carapa rouge (FR, GF), carapa (GB, VE), crapwood (GB, US, CA), cedro macho (CR), mas balo (CO), figueroa (EC), krappa (SR), camacari, yandiroba (BR); bateo (PA); C. grandifolia: African crabwood (wAfr, GB), mugueto (CG); C. procera: African crabwood (wAfr, GB), kowi (LR), okoto (CG, CD). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa (C. procera, C. grandiflora), or Mexico and Central America, or tropical South America (C. guianensis).

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. By marginal parenchyma band. Heartwood basically red to brown (pale reddish brown, darkening upon exposure), without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour (in green timber not always distinct). Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.5–0.55–0.65 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows (occasionally also in longer radial chains and small clusters). Average tangential vessel diameter 130–175–230 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 7–11–16. Average vessel element length 420–570–730 µm. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 2–4 µm, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (dark brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 900–1500–2000 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls (little), simple to minutely bordered. Fibres exclusively septate, or septate and non-septate (few non-septate fibres present). Septate fibres evenly distributed.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide or coarse, more than three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal (rarely), or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty to vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand (2–)4–6–8.

Rays. Rays 4–8 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)2–4–5 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular) and two or more cell types (heterocellular) (some of the uniseriate rays are homocelular); homocellular ray cells procumbent, or square or upright. 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 or with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells (C. grandifolia).

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals present or absent, traumatic origin, axial type, rarely in long tangential lines or in short tangential lines. Associated with marginal parenchyma. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

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

Illustrations. • Macro images. Carapa guianensis. Transverse. Radial. • Transverse section. Carapa guianensis. • Tangential section. Carapa guianensis.. • Radial section. Carapa guianensis..


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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