Afzelia xylocarpa

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Afzelia xylocarpa
Seeds of Afzelia xylocarpa

Seeds of Afzelia xylocarpa

Order : Fabales (Fabales)
Family : Legumes (Fabaceae)
Subfamily : Carob family (Caesalpinioideae)
Tribe : Detarieae
Genre : Afzelia
Type : Afzelia xylocarpa
Scientific name
Afzelia xylocarpa
( Short ) Craib

Afzelia xylocarpa is a plant from the genus Afzelia in the subfamily of caesalpinioideae (Caesalpinioideae) within the family of the Leguminosae (Fabaceae). It comes from Southeast Asia .


Appearance and leaf

Afzelia xylocarpa grows as a tree that can reach heights of usually 15 to 25, sometimes up to 40 meters and trunk diameters of usually around 90 centimeters ( chest height diameter DBH), rarely up to 2 meters. The trunks have a tendency to be curved and forked. Buttress roots are often formed. The bark is brown.

The leaves are arranged alternately on the branches. The relatively short petioles have a length of less than 5 mm. In the pair of pinnate leaf blades, three to five pairs of leaflets stand opposite each other. The bare, paper-like leaflets are egg-shaped with a length of 4 to 14 cm and a width of 3.5 to 6 cm, broadly elliptical to almost circular with a rounded to slightly sloping base and a rounded or edged upper end. The tiny stipules fall off early.

Inflorescence and flower

The flowering period extends from April to May in China and from March to April in Vietnam. The terminal, paniculate inflorescences are densely grayish-yellow-green or grayish-white fluffy hairs. The durable, equally large bracts and bracts are egg-shaped or triangular-egg-shaped with a length of about 6 mm.

The small, stalked flowers are hermaphroditic and zygomorphic . The four slightly unequal, leathery sepals are fused with tubes. The calyx tube has a length of 1 to 1.3 cm and the 1 to 1.5 cm long calyx teeth are elliptical with a rounded upper end. There is only a light purple-colored, obovate to almost circular petal , which is nailed with shaggy hair. There are usually seven fertile stamens that protrude significantly above the bracts. The stamens that have grown together at their base are 3 to 3.5 cm long and have downy hair on their lower part. The single carpel, which is not fused with the flower cup, is narrow, elongated and hairy. The long style towers over the bracts.

Fruit and seeds

The blackish-brown and woody legume when ripe is flattened and oblong with a length of 11 to 20 cm and a width of 7 to 9 cm. The legumes stay on the tree for a long time before they open and release two to five seeds. The fruits ripen in China between November and December and in Vietnam between September and December.

The relatively large seeds are slightly flattened, egg-shaped or almost spherical with a diameter of about 2 cm. The thick, shiny seed coat is black, dark brown or reddish brown. At the Radicula is a large, horny aril . The seeds do not contain an endosperm and the straight embryo has two fleshy, more or less flat cotyledons ( cotyledons ).

Occurrence and endangerment

The range of Afzelia xylocarpa includes Thailand , Vietnam , Cambodia , Laos and Myanmar . In its natural range, it grows at altitudes between 100 and 650 meters in areas with annual precipitation of 1000 to 1500 mm, the dry seasons last 5 to 6 months, the annual average temperature is 20 to 32 ° C and the minimum temperature must not fall below 10 ° C. It naturally thrives in dense evergreen forests to open Dipterocarpus dry forests. Afzelia xylocarpa is grown in some tropical areas.

Due to a high level of use and habitat loss , Afzelia xylocarpa is an endangered species and large specimens are difficult to find. Afzelia xylocarpa is listed in the IUCN's Red List of Endangered Species as "endangered".


The first description of this species was in 1877 under the name Pahudia xylocarpa by the German botanist Sulpiz Kurz (1834-1878) in Forest Flora of British Burma , 1, p. 413. William Grant Craib (1882-1933) presented it in 1912 in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information Kew , 1912 (6), p. 267 into the genus Afzelia . Other synonyms for Afzelia xylocarpa (short) Craib are: Afzelia cochinchinensis (Pierre) J.Léonard, Pahudia cochinchinensis Pierre.


  • The reddish, hard wood , with the trade name "Maka Mong", is used in a variety of ways, for example for high-quality furniture, carvings, house building, musical instruments, knife handles, springs, and turning work.
  • The bark is used to color animal skins. The seeds are used for carving.
  • The thick cotyledons and young seeds are edible.

The medical effects were examined. Afzelia xylocarpa is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat toothache and eye diseases.

The potential for wood production is high, but forest science research is required. Nitrogen fixation is advantageous in forestry and for soil improvement. So far, cultivation has only taken place on a very small scale.

Trivial names in some languages ​​(selection)

  • Khmer : បេង (beːŋ)
  • Lao : ຄ່າ (kʰāː |)
  • Mandarin : 缅 茄 (pinyin: "miǎnqié")
  • Thai : มะค่าโมง (ma / kha: / mo: ng)
  • Vietnamese : Gõ đỏ.


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Dezhao Chen, Dianxiang Zhang & Ding Hou: Afzelia in der Flora of China , Volume 10, 2010, p. 24: Afzelia xylocarpa - Online.
  2. a b c d e f g h i j Dorthe Jøker: Page no longer available , search in web archives: Flyer (PDF; 150 kB) from Danida Forest Seed Center . (PDF file; 147 kB)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  3. a b c afzelia xylocarpa in the endangered Red List species the IUCN 2011. Posted by: NH Nghia, 1998. Accessed on 13/11/2011.
  4. Entry in Globalspecies . ( Memento from March 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Afzelia xylocarpa at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  6. a b page no longer available , search in web archives: information on the species at LAO TREE SEED PROJECT . (PDF file; 370 kB)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  7. ^ The forest supermarket - One village in Phayao takes a unique approach to conservation. In: Technical University of Munich, accessed on April 20, 2014 .

Web links