Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Tipuana tipu (Benth.) O. Kuntze (Tipa blanca)

Nomenclature etc. Syn.: Tipuana speciosa Benth., Machaerium tipu Benth. Trade and local names: tipa (AR); tipa branca (BR). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 4. Tree. Geographic distribution: southern Brazil to temperate South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically yellow white or grey. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Density 0.67–0.75 g/cm³. Wood of commercial potential.

Vessels. Wood semi-ring-porous or diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 130–150 µm (latewood 30–80 µm, earlywood up to 300 µm); diameter of vessel lumina: large. Average number of vessels/mm² 6–15; vessels per square millimetre few. Average vessel element length 200–300 µm. Average vessel element length short. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–7 µm, small, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (scarce, colour of amber).

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

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma aliform, or confluent. Aliform parenchyma winged. Axial parenchyma fusiform (mostly 2-celled la mayor parte de 2 células).

Rays. Rays 12–16 per tangential mm, exclusively uniseriate. Height of large rays up to 500 µm. 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. • Transverse section. Tipuana tipu. • Tangential section. Tipuana tipu. • Radial section. Tipuana tipu.

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.’.