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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Bagassa guianensis Aubl., B. tiliaefolia R. Ben. (Tatajuba)

Nomenclature etc. MORACEAE. Trade and local names: tatajuba, bagassa (DE, BR); fustik (GY); moral (EC); amapá-rana, bagaceira, amoreira, garrote (BR); bagasse, bagasse jaune, bois jaune (FR, GF), gele bagasse (NL, SR). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 4 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical South America.

General. Heartwood basically brown to yellow to green (yellowish brown when fresh, darkening to deep copper brown). Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.75–0.8 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter (155–)225–290 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 1–4. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 8–10 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders and with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits, rounded or angular. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Average fibre length 800–1500 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric and aliform. Aliform parenchyma lozenge. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–5.

Rays. Rays 4–7 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 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. Sheath cells absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Secretory structures. Oil and mucilage cells absent. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes lacticifers, few present.

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent.

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

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Bagassa guianensis. • Tangential section. Bagassa guianensis. • Radial section. Bagassa guianensis. • Miscellaneous. Bagassa guianensis. Latex tube in ray: tangential (left) and radial (center) view. Prismatic crystals predominantly, but not exclusively, in marginal ray cells.


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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