Prota 7(2): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 2
T.Durand, Index gen. phan.: 78 (1887).
Origin and geographic distribution
Tinopsis apiculata is endemic to Madagascar, where it is widespread in the eastern regions.
The wood of Tinopsis apiculata, traded as ‘ramaindafy’ together with the wood of Neotina isoneura (Radlk.) Capuron, is especially used to build boats. Smaller-sized poles are used in construction and as fence posts. The wood is suitable for heavy carpentry, mine props and railway sleepers. It is also used as firewood and for charcoal production. The fruits are eaten.
The heartwood is pale pinkish brown and is distinctly demarcated from the greyish creamy sapwood. The wood is fairly heavy, with a density of about 830 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content, and hard. The rates of shrinkage during drying are fairly high, from green to oven dry about 5.7% radial and 12.4% tangential. Once dry, the wood is not stable in service.
At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 174 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 14,300 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 67 N/mm², cleavage 23 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 6.6. The wood is fairly durable, being moderately resistant to fungi and termites. The heartwood is resistant to impregnation with preservatives, the sapwood is permeable.
Evergreen, dioecious, small to medium-sized tree up to 25 m tall; bole up to 50 cm in diameter; twigs densely yellowish to reddish brown short-hairy. Leaves alternate, paripinnately compound with 1–4 pairs of leaflets; stipules absent; petiole up to 6 cm long, rachis up to 20 cm long; petiolules 2–5 mm long; leaflets opposite, elliptical, 6–20 cm × 2–6.5 cm, cuneate at base, acute to acuminate at apex, margins entire, leathery, glabrous except veins below, pinnately veined with 10–15 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary, slender false raceme-like panicle 3–10(–15) cm long, densely hairy. Flowers unisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel up to 2 mm long; sepals free, triangular to ovoid, up to 2.5 mm long, hairy outside; petals free, obovoid, up to 2 mm long and wide, hairy, with 2 lateral scales; stamens free, c. 4 mm long, hairy; ovary superior, ovoid, 2-celled, style up to 2 mm long; male flowers with rudimentary ovary, female flowers with reduced stamens. Fruit an obovoid to globose berry 2–2.5 cm long, yellow when ripe, indehiscent, 1(–2)-seeded. Seed up to 1.5 cm long, completely covered by pulpy-fleshy, translucent aril.
Tinopsis is endemic to Madagascar and comprises 11 species. Most of these species yield wood that is used for building boats, and although most of them are suitable for other uses such as house building and furniture, these are often considered a waste of valuable timber. The species with a recorded timber use are Tinopsis chrysophylla Capuron, Tinopsis conjugata (Thouars ex Radlk.) Capuron, Tinopsis dissitiflora (Baker) Capuron, Tinopsis macrocarpa Capuron, Tinopsis phellocarpa Capuron, Tinopsis tamatavensis Capuron and Tinopsis urschii Capuron. The aril of Tinopsis dissitiflora is edible and parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine as a vermifuge and tonic. The bark of Tinopsis macrocarpa is rich in saponins and is used for washing, and this is also the case for the bark of Tinopsis tampolensis Capuron.
Tinopsis apiculata is distributed in humid to subhumid evergreen forest from sea-level up to 1000 m altitude. It is most often found on slopes and in depressions.
Genetic resources and breeding
Although Tinopsis apiculata and other Tinopsis spp. are much sought after for their timber, there are no reports that any of these species is under threat. Assessment of the size of the populations and their exploitation is needed and could reveal the need for protection measures.
Too little is known about Tinopsis apiculata and other Tinopsis spp. to make projections for the future.
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Correct citation of this article:
Bosch, C.H., 2011. Tinopsis apiculata Radlk. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Louppe, D. & Oteng-Amoako, A.A. (Editors). Prota 7(2): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 2. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.