Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1925: 254 (1925).
Mwanzangu, mugome, ngome (Sw).
Origin and geographic distribution
Cassipourea euryoides is distributed from Somalia to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The wood of Cassipourea euryoides is suitable for heavy construction, flooring, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, furniture, cabinet work, interior trim, joinery, poles and piles, implements, toys and novelties, turnery, carving, and veneer and plywood. It is also used as firewood and for the production of charcoal.
The heartwood is creamy white with purplish streaks and indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight, texture fine and even. The density is about 850 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood seasons well and rapidly, but protection against direct sunlight is necessary to prevent splitting.
The wood is easy to saw, but gum deposits may clog sawteeth and sawing gives better results when the wood is wet. Fine sawdust can cause irritation. Although the wood is rather hard, it is easy to work with machine and hand tools, and it planes to a very smooth surface. It finishes well without filler being necessary. The wood is stable in service and takes glue, nails and screws well. It is durable and fairly resistant to marine borers.
Shrub or small tree up to 15(–18) m tall, often with low-branching bole; bark brown to grey, somewhat corky; young branches usually sparsely appressed hairy, later glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple; stipules between the petioles, 3–5 mm long, early caducous; petiole 1–6 mm long; blade lanceolate to elliptical or obovate, 3–10 cm × 1.5–5 cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate to acute, margin entire or with a few teeth in the upper part, papery to leathery, glabrous above, sparsely hairy to glabrous below. Inflorescence an axillary fascicle, 1–4-flowered, more or less lax. Flowers bisexual, regular, 4–6-merous; pedicel 1–2 mm long, jointed at apex; calyx campanulate, tube 1–1.5 mm long, lobes 3–5 mm long, narrowly triangular to ovate; petals spatulate, 3–6 mm long, deeply fringed, white to green; stamens 20–24; ovary superior, densely pubescent, 3–4-celled, style 2–2.5 mm long, persistent. Fruit a spherical to ovoid capsule c. 5 mm long, pubescent, dehiscent, few-seeded. Seeds black with red aril, testa leathery.
Cassipourea comprises about 70 species, widely distributed in the tropics.
Dropped seeds of Cassipourea euryoides, and occasionally fruits, are carried by unidentified small ants to their nest; after the ants have eaten the fatty aril, intact seeds are dispersed outside the nest.
Cassipourea euryoides occurs in dry evergreen or deciduous forest, woodland and savanna, up to 800 m altitude. In Somalia it is found on sandy soil.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no indications that Cassipourea euryoides is endangered by genetic erosion.
The wood of Cassipourea euryoides is of good quality. However, very little is known about this species, and it is therefore difficult to assess its prospects as a timber tree.
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Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2006. Cassipourea euryoides Alston. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.