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H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Nesogordonia papaverifera (A. Chev.) R. Capuron (Kotibé)

Nomenclature etc. STERCULIACEAE. Syn.: Cistanthera papaverifera A. Chev. Trade and local names: kotibé (CI, BE); danta (GB, GH, NL, NG); kissinhungo (AO); ahia, baka (CI); olborbora (GA); akuma, apru, epro (GH); ovoué (CM); tsanva (CG); otutun (NG); naougua (CD). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: tropical Africa.

General. Heartwood basically brown to red, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.65–0.8 g/cm³. Green wood said to be aromatic.

Vessels. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 50–80–110 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 17–24–29. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 3–4.5 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, similar to intervessel pits, of the same type in adjacent elements. Tyloses in vessels absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels present (orange brown).

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4.

Rays. Rays 7–10 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. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent.

Storied structures. Storied structure present, all rays storied, axial parenchyma storied, vessel elements storied, fibres storied. Number of ray tiers per axial millimetre 2–3.

Secretory structures. Intercellular canals absent.

Cambial variants. Included phloem absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one and more than one. Cystoliths absent. Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Nesogordonia papaverifera. • Tangential section. Nesogordonia papaverifera. • Radial section. Nesogordonia papaverifera. • Minute inter-vessel pits. Nesogordonia papaverifera.


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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