Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Journ. Sci. Res. (Jakarta) 1: 115 (1952).
Beilschmiedia grandiflora (Kosterm.) Kosterm. (1952).
Origin and geographic distribution
Beilschmiedia velutina is endemic to Madagascar, where it occurs in the northern and eastern part of the country.
The wood of Beilschmiedia velutina (Malagasy trade name: voankoromanga) is used for light construction, interior joinery, moulding, panelling and shuttering. It is considered suitable for rotary-peeled veneer. The fruits are used as a condiment.
The heartwood is beige and not sharply demarcated from the somewhat paler sapwood. The density of the wood is 500–620 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood dries rapidly, with only slight risk of distortion. Shrinkage rates are moderate, from green to oven dry 4.0% radial and 8.5% tangential. At 12% moisture content the modulus of rupture is about 46 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 8700 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 46 N/mm² and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 2.1. The wood is easy to work. Nailing, screwing and gluing do not cause problems, painting and varnishing give good results and a smooth surface is generally produced. The wood is not durable and susceptible to attack by fungi and wood borer insects. The wood impregnates well under pressure in autoclaves.
Medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall; inner bark reddish, brittle; young branches glabrous to brown-hairy. Leaves alternate, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–2.5(–3) cm long; blade elliptical or ovate, 9–20(–28) cm × 4–11(–20) cm, base obtuse to acute, apex acute or shortly acuminate, papery, upper surface glabrous or somewhat hairy on major veins, lower surface glaucous and sparsely hairy to densely brown-hairy, pinnately veined with 7–12 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary panicle 4–10 cm long, many-flowered. Flowers bisexual, regular, greenish; perianth with 2 series of 3 tepals, up to 4 mm long, brown-hairy on both surfaces; stamens 9, in 3 whorls of 3, inner ones with 2 glands near the base, staminodes 3; ovary superior, gradually narrowing into the short style. Fruit an ellipsoid to roundish berry c. 3 cm in diameter, 1-seeded.
Beilschmiedia velutina flowers and fruits year round.
Beilschmiedia comprises about 250 species and is distributed throughout the tropics, with about 80 species in tropical Africa and Madagascar. In Madagascar about 10 species have been recorded.
Beilschmiedia velutina occurs in evergreen forest up to 1200 m altitude.
Logs need to be treated with preservatives if they are not immediately processed after felling.
Genetic resources and breeding
Beilschmiedia velutina is rather uncommon and restricted to a threatened habitat in Madagascar, which makes it easily liable to genetic erosion. It is not mentioned in the 2006 IUCN Red list of threatened species.
The wood of Beilschmiedia velutina is easy to work, but its low durability limits is usefulness. It is suitable for interior carpentry, but outdoors it can only be used after treatment with preservatives.
• Guéneau, P., 1971. Bois de Madagascar. Possibilités d’emploi. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 75 pp.
• Guéneau, P., Bedel, J. & Thiel, J., 1970–1975. Bois et essences malgaches. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 150 pp.
• van der Werff, H., 2003. A synopsis of the genus Beilschmiedia (Lauraceae) in Madagascar. Adansonia, séries 3, 25(1): 77–92.
• Guéneau, P. & Guéneau, D., 1969. Propriétés physiques et mécaniques des bois malgaches. Cahiers scientifiques No 2, Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 51 pp.
• Styger, E., Rakotoarimanana, J.E.M., Rabevohitra, R. & Fernandes, E.C.M., 1999. Indigenous fruit trees of Madagascar: potential components of agroforestry systems to improve human nutrition and restore biological diversity. Agroforestry Systems 46(3): 289–310.
Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2008. Beilschmiedia velutina (Kosterm.) Kosterm. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.