Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Lovoa trichilioides Harms (Dibétou)

Nomenclature etc. MELIACEAE. Syn.: L. klaineana Pierre es Sprague. Trade and local names: dibétou (DE, FR, CI); bibolo (DE, CM, GA); abanif, koudra, lakoa, moutchibanaie, ti-kossou (CI); dubini-biri, penkwa, tema(m)ire (GH); apop(o), Lovoa, sida (NG), alop (CM); bombolu, lifaki (CD); eyan, dominguila (GA); embero, nvero (GQ); Congo wood (US); "Afrikanisch Nussbaum" (DE), "Noyer d'Afrique" (FR), "African Walnut" (GB). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown to yellow (darkening considerably upon exposure, lustrous), without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.44–0.52–0.58(–0.64) g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 90–135–208 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 5–9–13. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 2–4 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits (typically in linear units of 3–5 pits with a common border), of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (dark brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 880–1170–1460 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma little apotracheal, or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty to confluent. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6–8.

Rays. Rays 3–6 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–3–4 cells wide. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular), or two or more cell types (heterocellular) (sometimes weakly heterocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. 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.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

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

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent.

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

Illustrations. • Wood surface. Lovoa trichilioides. • Transverse section. Lovoa trichilioides. • Tangential section. Lovoa trichilioides. • Radial section. Lovoa trichilioides. Prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells (left).

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.’.