Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Gmelina arborea Roxb. (Gmelina, yemane)

Nomenclature etc. VERBENACEAE. + Gmelina moluccana (Blume) Backer ex K. Heyne. Trade and local names: gmelina (trade); yemane, gumhar, Malay beechwood (GB); yemani, mai saw (MM); so, so-maeo (TH). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (cultivated worldwide, particularly in Southeast Asia, West Africa, South America).

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct or indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown yellow to white or grey. Sapwood colour similar to heartwood colour. Density 0.4–0.6 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood semi-ring-porous or diffuse-porous. Vessels arranged in no specific pattern, in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 130–240 µm. Average number of vessels/mm² 3–6(–12). Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 7–9 µm, vestured. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders or with reduced borders or apparently simple, similar to intervessel pits, rounded or angular or horizontal to vertical. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Vascular or vasicentric tracheids sporadic to absent. Fibres very thin-walled, or of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 700–1500 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered. Fibres exclusively septate. Septate fibres evenly distributed.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not banded. Axial parenchyma paratracheal. Paratracheal axial parenchyma vasicentric, or aliform. Aliform parenchyma lozenge. Axial parenchyma as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 2–8.

Rays. Rays 5–13 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–5 cells wide. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. Some rays seemingly heterocellular due to presence of one marginal row of taller yet procumbent cells.

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, needle-like (acicular), located in ray cells. Crystal-containing ray cells upright and/or square and procumbent, upright and/or square ray cells not chambered. Number of crystals per cell or chamber more than one. Silica present, as vitreous silica, in axial parenchyma and in fibres ((only Gmelina moluccana)).

Illustrations. • Transverse section. Gmelina arborea. • Tangential section. Gmelina arborea. • Radial section. Gmelina arborea.

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.’.