Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1925: 263 (1925).
Origin and geographic distribution
Cassipourea ruwensoriensis is distributed in Central and East Africa, from the Central African Republic and DR Congo east to Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
The wood of Cassipourea ruwensoriensis is suitable for light construction, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, furniture and cabinet work, musical instruments, boxes and crates, interior trim, toys and novelties, turnery, and for veneer, plywood, hardboard and particle board.
The heartwood is whitish with mauve markings in the core, and indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight, texture fine and even. The density is 810–900 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood is refractory in seasoning, but with proper care in stacking, surface checking is not serious. The wood is easy to work by hand and machine tools, producing a fine surface. It tends to split on nailing, making pre-boring necessary. It glues, peels and slices well. The wood is resistant to wear and abrasion.
The durability of the wood is low. Logs are susceptible to stain and insect attack, including Lyctus borers. They should be removed quickly from the forest or be treated with insecticides or fungicides. The heartwood is extremely resistant to impregnation, the sapwood moderately resistant.
Shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 25 m tall; bark smooth; young branches densely yellow pubescent, darkening and becoming glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple; stipules between the petioles, 6–7.5(–12) mm × 2–3(–4) mm; petiole up to 10 mm long; blade elliptical to obovate, (4–)7–16 cm × (2–)3–8 cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate, margin toothed, glabrous above, shortly hairy to glabrous below. Inflorescence an axillary fascicle, (2–)4–15-flowered. Flowers bisexual, regular, 4(–5)-merous; pedicel 1–5 mm long, jointed in upper half; calyx with tube c. 1.5 mm long, lobes 4–6.5 mm long, triangular, hairy outside; petals 4–6 mm long, deeply fringed, greenish cream, glabrous; stamens 16–20; ovary half-inferior, hairy, 3–4-celled, style 4–5 mm long, persistent. Fruit an ovoid capsule 6–8 mm long, densely hairy, dehiscent, usually 2-seeded. Seeds 4–4.5 mm × 3 mm, testa leathery and dark red-brown, aril pink-orange.
Cassipourea comprises about 70 species, widely distributed in the tropics.
Cassipourea ruwensoriensis is a common understorey tree occurring in upland evergreen forest or dense semi-swamp forest, at 500–2500 m altitude.
Little is known about Cassipourea ruwensoriensis and therefore its conservation status and potential as a timber tree of wider usage are not known.
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• Beentje, H.J., 1994. Kenya trees, shrubs and lianas. National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya. 722 pp.
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• Wimbush, S.H., 1957. Catalogue of Kenya timbers. 2nd reprint. Government Printer, Nairobi, Kenya. 74 pp.
Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2006. Cassipourea ruwensoriensis (Engl.) Alston. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.