Commercial Timbers

DELTA Home

H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Machaerium scleroxylon Tul. (Santos Palisander, morado)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-FABOIDEAE. Trade and local names: caviuna, jacarandá, pau ferro (BR); morado (BO); Santos Palisander (DE); palissandre de Santos (FR). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical South America, or southern Brazil.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically black purple, with streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.85–0.95 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows or radial rows of 4 or more. Two distinct vessel diameter classes present. Average tangential vessel diameter 60–120 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 30–45. Average vessel element length 150–220 µm. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–8 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Other deposits in heartwood vessels amber to purple-brown present.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres very thick-walled. Average fibre length 200–300 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered.

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 apotracheal, or paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse, or diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty, or vasicentric. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2.

Rays. Rays 14–20 per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate or multiseriate (also if only few) (some specimens also with many 2-seriate rays). 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. Arrangement of tiers regular (horizontal or straight). Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 4–6.

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

Illustrations. • Macro images. Machaerium scleroxylon. Transverse. Tangential. • Transverse section. Machaerium scleroxylon. • Tangential section. Machaerium scleroxylon. • Radial section. Machaerium scleroxylon.


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’.

Contents