Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth. (Samak, puspa)

Nomenclature etc. THEACEAE. Syn.: S. crenata Korth, S. noronhae Reinw. ex Blume, S. superba. Trade and local names: puspa (ID); samak (MY). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Description based on 4 specimens. Tree. Geographic distribution: Indomalesia.

General. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown, without streaks. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Density 0.45–0.92 g/cm³. Hardwood pinkish, reddish or greyish brown.

Vessels. Vessels present. Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels exclusively solitary. Vessel outline angular. Two distinct vessel diameter classes absent. Average tangential vessel diameter 48–92–118 µm; diameter of vessel lumina: medium. Average number of vessels/mm² 25–33; vessels per square millimetre moderately numerous. Perforation plates scalariform, with 5–15 bars. Intervessel pits scalariform and opposite, average diameter (vertical) 10–13 µm, large, not vestured. Vessel-ray pits with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits, horizontal to vertical, of uniform size or type, of the same type in adjacent elements, located throughout the ray. Helical thickenings present, only in vessel element tails. Tyloses in vessels present, 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. Fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls, distinctly bordered. Helical thickenings absent. Fibres non-septate.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present, not banded. Axial parenchyma apotracheal and paratracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse. Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–12. Unlignified parenchyma absent. Some parenchyma cells with spiral thickenings.

Rays. Rays present, 6–10 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few) (in some specimens nearly exclusively uniseriate), 1–2 cells wide, narrow (2–3 seriate). Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Aggregate rays absent. Rays of one size. Height of large rays up to 500 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular), or two or more cell types (heterocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. 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. Sheath cells absent. Tile cells absent. Perforated ray cells absent. Disjunctive ray parenchyma end walls indistinct or absent.

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, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber one. Crystal containing cells of normal size. Cystoliths absent. Sometimes two crystals in one chamber. Silica not observed.

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

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Schima wallichii. • Tangential section. Schima wallichii. • Radial section. Schima wallichii. • Miscellaneous. Schima wallichii. Note scalariform perforation plates (lower part) and prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells (upper part).

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.’.