Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Maclura tinctoria (L.) D. Don ex Steud. (Fustic, moral)

Nomenclature etc. MORACEAE. Syn.: Chlorophora tinctoria (L.) Gaudich. Trade and local names: tata jyva, tata-yva (PY); mora amarilla (AR); taiúva, amoreira, tatajuba, limão- rana, amarelinho, moreira, tatajiba, tajuba (BR); moral fino, sota (EC); mora (NI); brazil, mora, morillo (CR); mora, mora amarilla, palo mora (BO); dinde, dinde fustete, avinge, palo amarillo, palo moro, moral fustete, morita, palo de mora (CO); insira caspi, limulana (PE); mora, moral amarillo (VE); palo negro (GT); mora, moral, palo de mora, chichiti, lun-da-e-quec, fustic, mora amarilla, moral liso, mora lisa, moral de clavo, moradilla, palo moral, moral amarillo, yaga-huil, ya-hui, tzitzi, tzitzil, chijchijtli, palo amarillo (MX); mora, moral de loma (CU); palo naranjo (ES); yellow wood (US); murier de tinturies, bois jaune (FR); echter Fustic, Kubaholz (DE). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 11 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: Mexico and Central America, Caribbean, tropical South America, southern Brazil, and temperate South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct and indistinct or absent. Growth ring limits marked by darker latewood band (smaller and thicker walled fibres). Heartwood basically brown and yellow. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.7–0.9 g/cm³. Sapwood white to yellowish; heartwood bright yellow when fresh, upon exposure changing to brown or russet.

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 110–230 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: large and very large. Average number of vessels/mm² 5–12; vessels per square millimetre few. Average vessel element length 150–400 µm. Average vessel element length short and medium. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–6 µm, small, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders and with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits and different from intervessel pits, rounded or angular and horizontal to vertical, of uniform size or type and of two distinct sizes or types in the same ray cell, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 600–1350 µm. Average fibre length short and medium. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal). Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, aliform, and confluent. Aliform parenchyma lozenge. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand (2–)3–6(–8). Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, 5–13 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 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. 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 present.

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

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in ray cells, axial parenchyma cells, and tyloses. 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. Crystals in rays sporadic. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown to yellow or shade of yellow. Ethanol extract fluorescent. Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown to yellow or shade of yellow. Splinter burns to full ash. Ash bright white.

Illustrations. • Transverse section 1. Maclura tinctoria. Compare this and the following illustration as regards variability in pore size and axial parenchyma distribution. • Transverse section 2. Maclura tinctoria. Compare this and the previous illustration as regards variability in pore size and axial parenchyma distribution. • Tangential section. Maclura tinctoria. • Radial section. Maclura tinctoria.

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.’.