Prota 7(2): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 2
Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 21: 417 (1885).
Origin and geographic distribution
Apodocephala pauciflora is endemic to the northern and eastern parts of central Madagascar.
The wood, known as ‘tsiramiramy’ in Madagascar, is suitable for light construction, light flooring, joinery, ship building, furniture, cabinet work, turnery, hardboard and particle board. It is also used as fuelwood.
The heartwood is yellowish when freshly cut, changing to pale brown or yellowish brown upon exposure, and indistinctly demarcated from the 5–7.5 cm wide sapwood. The grain is usually straight, occasionally interlocked, texture moderately fine. Quarter-sawn surfaces show a stripe figure.
The wood is medium-weight, with a density of about 610 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content, and rather soft. The rates of shrinkage during drying are quite high. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is about 109 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 51 N/mm², cleavage 16 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 2.4. The wood works well with both hand and machine tools, and smooth surfaces can be produced except when interlocked grain is present. The nailing properties are satisfactory. The wood is fairly durable and rarely attacked by termites and Lyctus borers, but it is liable to marine borer attack. The wood is resistant to impregnation with preservatives.
Evergreen, small to medium-sized tree up to 20(–30) m tall; bole up to 60 cm in diameter; bark with a whitish, sweet-smelling exudate; twigs thick, densely reddish brown short-hairy. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole up to 5 cm long, grooved above; blade elliptical to oblong or sometimes obovate, 10–20 cm × 4–8 cm, cuneate at base, acute or short-acuminate at apex, margins entire, sometimes slightly toothed near apex, leathery, reddish brown short-hairy below, pinnately veined with 10–12 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a head c. 5 mm × 1.5 mm, many together in a terminal, much-branched corymb; involucral bracts 10–12, ovate to oblong, unequal, arranged in several series, thick. Flowers in the axils of bracts, 3–4 per head, bisexual, all tubular, scented; corolla white, with cylindrical tube slightly inflated at base and 5 spreading lobes; stamens 5, with fused purplish brown anthers; ovary inferior, 1-celled, style white, ending in 2 recurved stigma branches. Fruit an obconical achene c. 4 mm long, crowned by the hardened, persistent base of the corolla.
Trees usually flower in August to December.
Apodocephala comprises about 9 species and is endemic to Madagascar. The whitish wood of Apodocephala begueana Humbert, a small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall occurring in central-eastern Madagascar, is used for construction. Apodocephala begueana differs from Apodocephala pauciflora in its glabrous twigs and leaves, and in fewer and thinner involucral bracts.
Apodocephala pauciflora occurs in humid evergreen forest at 700–2000 m altitude.
Genetic resources and breeding
Apodocephala pauciflora is widespread in Madagascar and there are no indications that it is threatened.
Apodocephala pauciflora will remain of limited and local importance.
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• Humbert, H., 1960. Composées (Compositae). Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (plantes vasculaires), famille 189, tome 1. Firmin-Didot et cie., Paris, France. pp. 1–338.
• Sallenave, P., 1955. Propriétés physiques et mécaniques des bois tropicaux de l’Union française. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent sur Marne, France. 129 pp.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan, 248 pp.
• Boiteau, P., Boiteau, M. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1999. Dictionnaire des noms malgaches de végétaux. 4 Volumes + Index des noms scientifiques avec leurs équivalents malgaches. Editions Alzieu, Grenoble, France.
• Schatz, G.E., 2001. Generic tree flora of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 477 pp.
Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2010. Apodocephala pauciflora Baker. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Louppe, D. & Oteng-Amoako, A.A. (Editors). Prota 7(2): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 2. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.