Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Dipteryx odorata (Aubl.) Willd., D. alata Vog. (Cumarú)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-FABOIDEAE. Syn.: Coumarouna odorata Aubl., Dipteryx tetraphylla Spruce. Trade and local names: cumarú verdadeiro, muimapagé, champagne (BR); koemaroe, tonka (SR); gaiac cayenne (GF); shihuahuaco (PE); visguero, yesquero (BO). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically greyish brown, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour (cream-coloured). Odour distinct. Density 0.9–1.15 g/cm³. Strongly interlocked grain.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows to radial rows of 4 or more. Average tangential vessel diameter 100–250 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: large to very large. Average number of vessels/mm² 5–10; vessels per square millimetre few. Average vessel element length 300–550 µm. Average vessel element length medium. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 9–13 µm, medium to large, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thick-walled. Average fibre length 1100–2400 µm. Average fibre length medium to long. 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 aliform to confluent. Aliform parenchyma lozenge. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–4.

Rays. Rays 10–15 per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate to multiseriate (also if only few) (in some specimens few 2-seriate rays), 1–2 cells wide. Height of large rays up to 500 µm (0.15–0.30 mm). Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, all rays storied, axial parenchyma storied, vessel elements storied, fibres storied to not storied. Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 3.

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 axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells 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 fluorescent (yellow). Water extract fluorescent (blue); basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Ethanol extract fluorescent (greenish yellow to bright yellow). Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to partial ash. Ash white to grey.

Illustrations. • Macro images. Transverse. Tangential. Dipteryx odorata. • Transverse section: D. odorata. Dipteryx odorata. • Transverse section: D. alata. Dipteryx alata. • Tangential section: D. odorata. Dipteryx odorata. • Tangential section: D. alata. Dipteryx alata. • Radial section: D. odorata. Dipteryx odorata. • Radial section: D. alata. Dipteryx alata.


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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