Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat 19: 468 (1949).
Tylostemon corbisieri Robyns (1930), Beilschmiedia megaphylla Pierre ex Robyns & R.Wilczek (1950).
Origin and geographic distribution
Beilschmiedia corbisieri is distributed in Cameroon, Gabon and DR Congo.
The wood is particularly suitable for carving and turnery, but it can also be used for interior carpentry, construction, flooring, joinery, furniture, cabinet work, shipbuilding, railway sleepers, sporting goods, agricultural implements, mine props, poles and piles.
The heartwood is pale red-brown; it is clearly demarcated from the pinkish white sapwood. The grain is usually straight, texture medium. The wood contains some resin canals. The density is 730–800 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood is moderately fissile. It seasons rather slowly, and severe splitting occurs when drying is accelerated. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 137 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 52 N/mm², cleavage 16 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 3.5. The wood saws well, but slowly; it has a fairly high silica content. It nails well and has excellent nail-holding properties. It finishes and polishes well, and has satisfactory working and planing characteristics. It is resistant to wear and weathering. The wood is often attacked by borers, but is fairly resistant to attacks by marine borers and termites. The sapwood is liable to attack by Lyctus beetles. The wood is impermeable to preservatives.
Evergreen shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall; bole straight, cylindrical, up to 50 cm in diameter, without buttresses; outer bark smooth; branches cylindrical, with bark blackish grey and rough, young branches flattened and reddish hairy. Leaves alternate to almost opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–2 cm long, more or less channelled, hairy; blade oblong to oblong-elliptical, 6–26 cm × 3–9 cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate, thinly leathery, glabrous above, sparsely hairy below, olive coloured above, reddish brown below, pinnately veined with 6–10 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a lax and slender panicle 6–12 cm long, axillary near the top of young branches, reddish hairy, branches thread-like; peduncle 1.5–5 cm long; bracts acute, hairy, persistent. Flowers bisexual, regular, small, greenish, hairy; pedicel thread-like, 2.5–5 mm long; perianth cup-shaped, lobes 6(–8), broadly deltoid to ovate, c. 1 mm long, glandular; fertile stamens 9, in 3 whorls, those in outer 2 whorls sessile, those in inner whorl stalked and with 2 glands each, staminodes in a fourth whorl; ovary superior, c. 1 mm long. Fruit an ovoid to oblong-ovoid berry up to 5 cm × 3 cm, glabrous, reddish and rough, 1-seeded.
Beilschmiedia comprises about 250 species and is distributed throughout the tropics, with about 80 species in tropical Africa and Madagascar. Beilschmiedia corbisieri belongs to subgenus Synthoradenia. Beilschmiedia diversiflora Pierre ex Robyns & R.Wilczek belongs to the same subgenus and is closely related to Beilschmiedia corbisieri, but the leaves are smaller with reddish curly hairs below, and the perianth lobes are shorter; it is sometimes considered a variety of Beilschmiedia corbisieri.
Beilschmiedia corbisieri occurs in swamp forest and periodically flooded forest.
Genetic resources and breeding
Beilschmiedia corbisieri has a limited distribution and it is unclear whether this species is threatened by genetic erosion. It is not included in the 2006 IUCN Red list of threatened species.
The wood of Beilschmiedia corbisieri is considered suitable for a wide range of applications, but it is unclear to what extent it is presently used. Its potential is difficult to assess because too little is known about growth characteristics and abundance.
• Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
• Fouarge, J., Sacré, E. & Mottet, A., 1950. Appropriation des bois congolais aux besoins de la métropole. Série Technique No 38. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge (INEAC), Brussels, Belgium. 17 pp.
• Robyns, W. & Wilczek, R., 1951. Lauraceae. In: Robyns, W., Staner, P., Demaret, F., Germain, R., Gilbert, G., Hauman, L., Homès, M., Jurion, F., Lebrun, J., Vanden Abeele, M. & Boutique, R. (Editors). Flore du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi. Spermatophytes. Volume 2. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. pp. 403–446.
• Fouilloy, R., 1965. Lauracées. Flore du Gabon. Volume 10. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 7–81.
• Fouilloy, R., 1974. Lauraceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 18. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 3–87.
Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2008. Beilschmiedia corbisieri (Robyns) Robyns & R.Wilczek. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.