Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Mitragyna ciliata Aubrév. & Pellegr., M. stipulosa O. Kuntze (Abura)

Nomenclature etc. RUBIACEAE. M. ciliata - Syn.: M. macrophylla Hiern; früher auch Hallea spp. earlier maintained under Hallea spp. Trade and local names: abura (DE, FR, GH, GB), bahia (BE, CI, FR), elelome (CM), subaha (GH), vuku (CI), woda (ET). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growthring limits sometimes indicated by zones of low vessel frequency. Heartwood basically brown to white or grey red to yellow brown to yellow red to white or grey. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Density 0.44–0.52–0.62 g/cm³. Occasionally with reddish-brown wetwood.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in some specimens solitary, however predominantly in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows or radial rows of 4 or more. Average tangential vessel diameter 60–105–170 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 15–30–40. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–7 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits. Tyloses in vessels absent.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness to very thick-walled. Average fibre length 1750–2300–2950 µm. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, distinctly bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse and diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 6–10.

Rays. Rays 6–13 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 1–4 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions present. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells or with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals not observed. Silica present, as grains, in rays cells.

Illustrations. • Wood surface. Mitragyna ciliata. • Transverse section. Mitragyna ciliata. • Tangential section. Mitragyna ciliata. • Radial section. Mitragyna ciliata.

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.’.