Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Pericopsis elata (Harms) van Meeuwen (Afrormosia, kokrodua)

Nomenclature etc. FABACEAE-FABOIDEAE. Syn.: Afrormosia elata. Trade and local names: afromosia (DE, GB, NG); krokodua (BE, GH); assamela (CI, FR); obang (CM); bohala, wahala (CF). Listed in CITES Annex II.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa (West and Central Africa).

General. Heartwood basically brown to yellow yellow to green brown to green, mostly without streaks (rarely with subtle striping). Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.6–0.65–0.7 g/cm³. Ribbon figure caused by periodic changes in vessel frequency and/or interlocked grain; growth increments macroscopically visible.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 80–110–150 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 9–16–23. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 6–7 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present, rarely with light coloured "chalky" deposits.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, or aliform and confluent, or unilateral. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–4.

Rays. Rays 7–12 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–3 cells wide. 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 not storied.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals absent.

Cambial variants. Included phloem 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. Cystoliths absent. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Macro images. Pericopsis elata. Transverse. Radial. • Transverse section. Pericopsis elata. • Tangential section. Pericopsis elata. • Radial section. Pericopsis elata.

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.’.