Commercial Timbers

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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Calycophyllum multiflorum Griseb. (Castelo)

Nomenclature etc. RUBIACEAE. Trade and local names: castelo (DE, BR); palo blanco (AR, PE, PY); ibirá-morotí (AR); verdolaga (BO). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 5 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical South America, southern Brazil, and temperate South America.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Growth ring limits indicated by latewood zones of low vessel frequency. Heartwood basically white or grey to yellow white or grey to brown (occasionally with yellowish-brown discoloured heartwood; only the light coloured sapwood is traded), without streaks. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour, or distinct from heartwood colour (only if discoloured heartwood is present). Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.75–0.95 g/cm³.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in diagonal and/or radial pattern and no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows or radial rows of 4 or more (rarely in radial chains of 4 or more). Vessel outline rounded. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 30–50–70 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: medium. Average number of vessels/mm² 100–140; vessels per square millimetre very numerous. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–6 µm, small, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits, of uniform size or type, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels only in discoloured heartwood present or absent, thinwalled. Other deposits in heartwood vessels not observed.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled (predominantly thick-walled). Average fibre length 900–1000–1200 µm. Average fibre length medium. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres septate and non-septate. Septate fibres evenly distributed. Septa of regular occurrence but infrequent, 1–2 per fibre.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma absent or extremely rare. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse.

Rays. Rays 12–15 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–3 cells wide, narrow (2–3 seriate). Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of two distinct sizes. Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm. Rays composed of only in some uniseriate rays a single cell type (homocellular), or two or more cell types (heterocellular); homocellular ray cells square or upright. Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells or mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells or with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls distinct. Uniseriate rays frequent, up to 50% of the total.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

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, in form of crystal sand, located in ray cells. Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square or procumbent (rarely in procumbent cells). Cystoliths absent. Silica not observed.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract fluorescent; basically colourless to brown or shade of brown. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract fluorescent. Colour of ethanol extract colourless to brown or shade of brown. Light blue. Chrome azurol-S test negative. Froth test negative. Splinter burns to full ash. Ash white to grey.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Calycophyllum multiflorum. • Tangential section. Calycophyllum multiflorum. • Radial section. Calycophyllum multiflorum. • Mineral inclusions. Calycophyllum multiflorum. Note: Crystal sand (CR) in marginal and body ray cells. CR. CR. CR. • septate fibres. Calycophyllum multiflorum. Note: Presence of septate fibres.


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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