Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Tieghemella africana Pierre, T. heckelii Pierre ex A. Chev. (Makoré)

Nomenclature etc. SAPOTACEAE. Syn.: Mimusops africana Lecomte, Dumoria africana A. Chev. (T. africana); Mimusops heckelii Hutch & Dalz., Dumoria heckelii A. Chev. (T. heckelii). Trade and local names: T. africana: douka (BE, DE, FR, GH, GQ, CM, NL), bavili, fang, n'duka, okalla (GH), duka (IT), okola (GH, GQ), T. heckelii: makoré (LR, CI, GH, GB, F, D) butusu, dumori (CI), baku, abacu, makori (GH), aganokwe, aganope (NG), kondofindo (CD). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically brown to red. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.51–0.59–0.68 g/cm³ ((T. heckelii); T. africana: 0.60–0.66–0.70).

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in diagonal and/or radial pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 90–130–210 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 5–18–29 ((T. heckelii); T. africana: 6–11–19). Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 5–8 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders or with reduced borders or apparently simple (bordered ray-vessel pits usually restricted to procumbent cells, apparently simple pits in marginal upright/square cells), similar to intervessel pits or different from intervessel pits, of apparently simple pits horizontal to vertical. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids commonly present (but infrequent). Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 475–1220–2000 µm ((T. heckkelii); T. africana: 1060–1670–2330). Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands reticulate, fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 7–9.

Rays. Rays 6–12 per tangential mm ((T. heckkelii); T. africana: 7–9), multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions present (few). 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 to with more than 4 marginal rows of upright or square cells.

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

Physical and chemical tests. Froth test positive.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Tieghemella heckelii. • Tangential section. Tieghemella heckelii. • Radial section. Tieghemella heckelii. (Inset: silica particles in ray cells).

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.’.