Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Erythrina spp. (coral tree)

Nomenclature etc. PAPILIONACEAE. Incl. E. subumbrans (Hassk.) Merr., E. stricta Roxb. Trade and local names: arbre au corail (F); dadap, dedap (MAL, RI); dap-dap, rarang (RP); kathit (BUR); thong lang (T). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 2. Tree. Geographic distribution: Burma.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically yellow, without streaks. Odour indistinct or absent. Wood of commercial potential.

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 200–300–390 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: very large. Average number of vessels/mm² 1–2.5; vessels per square millimetre very few. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 7–10 µm, medium, vestured. Intervessel pits typically polygonal.. 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 not observed.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled and of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate. Few fibres alternating with abundant axial parenchyma.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded. Axial parenchyma bands not marginal (or seemingly marginal), bands much wider than rays, coarse, more than three cells wide. Axial parenchyma fusiform, or as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 1(–2). Unlignified parenchyma absent.

Rays. Rays present, multiseriate (also if only few), 5–15 cells wide, wide (5–10 seriate) and very wide (more than 10 seriate). Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. Height of large rays commonly over 1000 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 present, rays not storied, axial parenchyma storied, vessel elements storied, fibres not storied. Arrangement of tiers regular (horizontal or straight).

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 not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent (weakly greenish); basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract fluorescent (blueish hues). Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown. Chrome azurol-S test negative. Froth test positive (only weakly positive). Splinter burns to partial ash. Ash other than white, grey, yellow or brown (nearly black).

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Erythrina cristagalli. • Tangential section. Erythrina cristagalli. • Radial section. Erythrina cristagalli.

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.’.