Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Xylocarpus spp. (Miri, nyireh)

Nomenclature etc. MELIACEAE. Species included in the description: Xylocarpus granatum Koenig, X. mollucensis (Lamk.) Roem. Trade and local names: mangove cedar, pussur wood (GB); tabigi (PH); kra buun, ta buun (TH); niri, n. batu, nyirih gundik (ID); kyana, kyatnan, pinle-on (MM). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 15 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indomalesia, Pacific Islands, Australia, and Madagascar & other islands.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown and red, with streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Wood of commercial potential.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 80 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: medium to large. Average number of vessels/mm² 24; vessels per square millimetre moderately numerous. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 2.5–3 µm, minute, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits, of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present, red-brown organic deposits.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled and of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres exclusively septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), bands much wider than rays, fine, up to three cells wide and coarse, more than three cells wide. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–6(–8). Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, 7–9 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)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 up to 500 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 and mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls indistinct or absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, all rays storied or rays not storied, axial parenchyma storied or not storied, vessel elements storied or not storied, fibres not storied. Arrangement of tiers regular (horizontal or straight) and irregular. Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 2–3. Storeying of rays can be regular in some specimens, absent in others.

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes absent.

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

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

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; basically yellow or shade of yellow. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract not fluorescent. Colour of ethanol extract red or shade of red. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to partial ash. Ash white to grey.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Xylocarpus moluccensis. • Tangential section. Xylocarpus granatum. Note: Rays not storied. • Tangential section. Xylocarpus moluccensis. Note: Rays storied. • Radial section. Xylocarpus granatum. • Miscellaneous. Xylocarpus granatum. Note: Prismatic crystals in marginal ray and axial parenchyma cells (inset); fibres regularly septate.

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.’.