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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Vell.) Morong & Britton (Timbó)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-MIMOSOIDEAE. Syn.: Enterolobium timbouva Mart. Trade and local names: timbó (PY); timbó, timbó colorado, pará, cambá-cambí, timbó-pyita, t. colorado, t. cedro, oreja de negro, pacará (AR); toco, oreja de abuela (BO); tamboril, timbuva, orelha de negro (BR). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 10 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical South America, southern Brazil, and temperate South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown red, with streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.43 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows and in clusters. Vessel outline rounded. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 90–200–380 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: large. Average number of vessels/mm² 2–5; vessels per square millimetre very few. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 9–11 µm, medium, 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, Organic contents light brown.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled and of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 800–900 µm. Average fibre length short. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric and confluent. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–4. Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, 2–4 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), (1–)2–4(–5) 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 up to 500 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. 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 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 procumbent. Crystals in procumbent ray cells not in radial alignment. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Crystal containing cells of normal size. Cystoliths absent. Chambered crystalliferous strands only along margins of axial parenchyma islands; crystals in rays very rare. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood fluorescent (yellow; vessel contents strongly fluorescent). Water extract not fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract fluorescent (light yellow). Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown. Chrome azurol-S test negative. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to full ash (wood crackles during combustion). Ash other than white, grey, yellow or brown (blackish).

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Enterolobium contortisiliquum. • Tangential section. Enterolobium contortisiliquum. • Radial section. Enterolobium contortisiliquum.


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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