Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Mansonia altissima (A. Chev.) A. Chev. (Mansonia, Béte)

Nomenclature etc. STERCULIACEAE. Syn.: Achantia altissima A. Chev. Trade and local names: mansonia (D, GB), bété (DE, GB, FR, CI, CM), ofun, odo, urodo (NG), aprono (GH), bodua (CI). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically brown to yellow to green (olive green), with streaks (fade upon prolonged exposure). Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.54–0.6–0.65 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 65–95–140 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 7–30–65. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 2–3 µm. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, rounded or angular.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 545–1040–1490 µm. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, simple to minutely bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4.

Rays. Rays 7–9 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–4 cells wide. Rays composed of two or more cell types (heterocellular). Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells to mostly 2–4 marginal rows of upright or square cells.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, all rays storied, axial parenchyma storied, vessel elements storied, fibres storied.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in ray cells and axial parenchyma cells (rare in axial parenchyma). Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square and procumbent (rare in procumbent cells), upright and/or square ray cells few chambered and not chambered. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells not chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Cystoliths absent. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Mansonia altissima. • Tangential section. Mansonia altissima. • Radial section. Mansonia altissima.

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.’.