Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Myristica spp. (Penarahan)

Nomenclature etc. MYIDSTICACEAE. Myristica buchneriana Warb., M. elliptica Wallich ex Hook.f. & Thomson, M. gigantea King, M. iners Blume, M. lowiana King, M. maingayi Hook.f., M. maxima Warb., M. simiarum A.DC. Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka to Pacific Islands.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically reddish to orange brown, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.38–0.73 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessel outline rounded, or angular. Average tangential vessel diameter 140–200 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 3–11. Perforation plates simple, scalariform, and reticulate, foraminate or other types, with 2–10 bars. Perforations mostly scalariform, occasionally simple or reticulate. Intervessel pits opposite to alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–10 µm, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, horizontal to vertical. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled, or of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 800–1450 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate. Fibres typically in radial alignment (transverse section).

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide or coarse, more than three cells wide. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty to vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 3–6.

Rays. Rays 7–12 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–3 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions occasionally present, or absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. 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 or mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells. 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 present, associated with ray parenchyma. Slightly enlarged oil cells located in marginal as well as body cell rows. Intercellular canals absent. Laticifers or tanniniferous tubes present. Tanniniferous tubes.

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

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Myristica buchneriana. • Tangential section 1. Myristica buchneriana. • Tangential section 2. Myristica elliptica. Size and shape of ray cells vary considerably between species (for comparison see previous image). • Radial section. Myristica buchneriana. • Tanniniferous tubes. Myristica lowiana. Exceptionally large and frequent tanniniferous tubes (TT) in rays. TT. TT. TT. TT. TT. TT.


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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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