Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat 20: 200 (1950).
Origin and geographic distribution
Beilschmiedia diversiflora is distributed in Cameroon, Gabon and Congo.
The wood (trade names: kanda, brown kanda) is suitable for construction, flooring, interior trim, joinery, turnery, furniture, cabinet work, shipbuilding, vehicle bodies, railway sleepers, poles, piles, mine props, veneer and plywood.
The heartwood is red-brown; it is clearly demarcated from the yellowish sapwood. The grain is straight, texture fine to medium. The wood contains resin canals. The density of the wood is about 730 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood seasons slowly, but with little degrade. Shrinkage rates are 3.3–4.0% radial and 5.6–6.4% tangential from green to oven dry. Once dry, the wood is stable in service. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 154 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 9700 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 60 N/mm², shear 9 N/mm², cleavage 22 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 5.2. The wood saws fairly well, but with some dulling effect on tools due to the presence of silica. It nails well and has good nail and screw holding properties; it works and finishes satisfactorily. The wood is resistant to fungi, termites and marine borers, but the sapwood is liable to attack by Lyctus beetles. The heartwood is resistant to impregnation with preservatives.
Evergreen medium-sized tree up to 27 m tall; bole straight, branchless for up to 15 m, cylindrical, up to 60 cm in diameter, without buttresses; young branches reddish hairy. Leaves alternate to almost opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole c. 1 cm long, hairy; blade obovate to oblong, 7–14 cm × 3–6 cm, leathery, olive-brown and glabrous above, reddish hairy on the veins below, pinnately veined with 6–8 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary, robust panicle 4–8 cm long, reddish hairy; peduncle 1–1.5 cm long, flattened; bracts caducous. Flowers bisexual, regular, small, brownish yellow; pedicel 1–2 mm long, reddish hairy; perianth bell-shaped or cup-shaped, lobes 6, up to 1 mm long; 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 a pear-shaped berry 2.5–3 cm × c. 1.5 cm, 1-seeded.
Beilschmiedia comprises about 250 species and is distributed throughout the tropics, with about 80 species in tropical Africa and Madagascar. Beilschmiedia diversiflora belongs to subgenus Synthoradenia. It is closely related to Beilschmiedia corbisieri (Robyns) Robyns & R.Wilczek, but the leaves of the latter are larger and sparsely hairy, and the perianth lobes are slightly longer. Beilschmiedia diversiflora is sometimes considered a variety of Beilschmiedia corbisieri.
Beilschmiedia diversiflora occurs in mixed forest, mainly in humid lowland areas.
Genetic resources and breeding
Beilschmiedia diversiflora 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 diversiflora is considered suitable for a wide range of applications, but it is unclear to what extent it is presently used or can be made available.
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• Fouilloy, R., 1974. Lauraceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 18. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 3–87.
• Sallenave, P., 1964. Propriétés physiques et mécaniques des bois tropicaux. Premier supplément. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 79 pp.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan, 248 pp.
• CTFT (Centre Technique Forestier Tropical), 1961. Résultats des observations et des essais effectués au Centre Technique Forestier Tropical sur kanda brun. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 5 pp.
• Fouilloy, R., 1965. Lauracées. Flore du Gabon. Volume 10. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 7–81.
• Robyns, W. & Wilczek, R., 1950. Contribution a l’etude du genre Beilschmiedia de l’Afrique tropicale. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l’Etat (Bruxelles) 20(2): 197–226.
Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2008. Beilschmiedia diversiflora Pierre ex 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.