Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Entandrophragma cylindricum (Sprague) Sprague (Sapeli)

Nomenclature etc. MELIACEAE. Syn.: Entandrophragma tomentosum A. Chev., E. lebrunii Staner. Trade and local names: sapelli (DE, FR, BE); sapele, sapele mahagany (GB, NG); sapeli Mahonie (NL); aboudikro (CI, FR, DE); bibitu, lotouhé, abitigbro, boubousson, pan (CI); penkwa (GH); agiekpogo, ubilesan, ukwekan (NG); assié (CM); lifaki (UG); lifaki, libuyu, bobwe, m'boyo (CF); lifuti + livuite (AO). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically brown to red, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour distinct. Density 0.49–0.62–0.72 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 90–140–200 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 9–17; vessels per square millimetre few. Average vessel element length 450–500 µm. Average vessel element length medium. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 2–3 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (reddish brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 690–1375–2005 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres exclusively septate, or septate and non-septate. Septate fibres evenly distributed.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide or coarse, more than three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates (short bands and cell clusters with or without contact to vessels). Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric and unilateral. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 8.

Rays. Rays (3–)5–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–5 cells wide. 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.

Storied structures. Storied structure present or absent, all rays storied, axial parenchyma not storied. Arrangement of tiers regular (horizontal or straight), or irregular. Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 2. Storied rays present in some specimens (ca. 60%), absent in others.

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent. Intercellular canals present, traumatic origin, axial type, in long tangential lines or in short tangential lines.

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

Illustrations. • Macro images. Entandrophragma caylindricum. Transverse. Radial. • Transverse section. Entandrophragma caylindricum. • Tangential section. Entandrophragma cylindricum. rays not storied. rays storied. • Radial section. Entandrophragma cylindricum.

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.’.