Ephippiandra madagascariensis (PROTA)
Ephippiandra madagascariensis (Danguy) Lorence
- Protologue: Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 72(1): 85 (1985).
- Family: Monimiaceae
- Chromosome number: 2n = 42
- Hedycaryopsis madagascariensis Danguy (1928).
Origin and geographic distribution
Ephippiandra madagascariensis is endemic to Madagascar, where it occurs in the northern and eastern parts of the island.
The timber, known as ‘ambora’, is used for construction, joinery, furniture, coffins and weatherboards. Boles are often hollow and used for beehives. The bark is used as a mordant in dyeing tissue with indigo; it makes the colour brighter. The leaves are used as a cholagogue.
The heartwood is yellowish white to greenish yellow and distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. It is light, tender and brittle. Shrinkage during drying is moderate. The wood works easily, and the nailing properties are good. It is not durable under humid conditions or in contact with the ground and when used for weatherboards it should be treated. It is extremely difficult to distinguish the wood from that of Tambourissa spp., which is much more durable.
- Evergreen, monoecious, small to medium-sized tree up to 25 m tall; bole up to 50 cm in diameter; twigs soft-hairy.
- Leaves opposite, simple; stipules absent; petiole 1–1.5 cm long; blade elliptical to obovate, 3–9 cm × 2–6 cm, cuneate at base, apex obtuse to rounded or notched, margins wavy to toothed, soft-hairy below, pinnately veined with 3–4 pairs of lateral veins.
- Inflorescence an axillary cyme up to 3 cm long, greyish short-hairy, 3–5-flowered with 1 terminal female flower subtended by 2–4 male flowers.
- Flowers unisexual, regular; male flowers with 3–4 tepals, stamens 35–50, anthers sessile; female flowers with 8–16 minute deltoid tepals c. 0.5 mm long, implanted on margin of flat discoid receptacle 1–1.5 cm in diameter, ovaries c. 150, superior.
- Fruit consisting of the enlarged, swollen receptacle 3.5–6 cm in diameter, with 30–50 drupelets up to 1 mm long.
Other botanical information
Ephippiandra comprises 7 species and is endemic to Madagascar. It is related to Tambourissa, of which the wood is used for similar purposes.
Ephippiandra madagascariensis is restricted to humid forest at 700–1000 m altitude.
Destruction of its habitat is a possible threat to Ephippiandra madagascariensis.
The wood of Ephippiandra madagascariensis will remain of some local importance, particularly for inside use, as long as it is available in some quantity.
- Cavaco, A., 1959. Monimiacées (Monimiaceae). Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (plantes vasculaires), famille 80. Firmin-Didot et cie., Paris, France. 44 pp.
- Guéneau, P., Bedel, J. & Thiel, J., 1970–1975. Bois et essences malgaches. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 150 pp.
- Lorence, D.H., 1985. A monograph of the Monimiaceae (Laurales) in the Malagasy Region (Southwest Indian Ocean). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 72(1): 1–165.
- Boiteau, P., Boiteau, M. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1999. Dictionnaire des noms malgaches de végétaux. 4 Volumes + Index des noms scientifiques avec leurs équivalents malgaches. Editions Alzieu, Grenoble, France.
- Brown, K.A., Ingram, J.C., Flynn, D.F.B., Razafindrazaka, R. & Jeannoda, V., 2009. Protected area safeguard tree and shrub communities from degradation and invasion: a case study in eastern Madagascar. Environmental Management 44: 136–148
- Lorence, D.H., 1999. A new species of Ephippiandra (Monimiaceae: Monimioideae) from Madagascar. Adansonia 21(1): 133–136.
- Oginuma, K. & Tobe, H., 2006. Chromosome evolution in the Laurales based on analyses of original and published data. Journal of Plant Research 119(4): 309 320.
- Renner, S.S., Strijk, J.S., Strasberg, D. & Thébaud, C., 2010. Biogeography of the Monimiaceae (Laurales): a role for East Gondwana and long-distance dispersal, but not West Gondwana. Journal of Biogeography 37(7): 1227–1238.
- Schatz, G.E., 2001. Generic tree flora of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 477 pp.
- C.H. Bosch, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
Correct citation of this article
Bosch, C.H., 2012. Ephippiandra madagascariensis (Danguy) Lorence. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Louppe, D. & Oteng-Amoako, A.A. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands.
Accessed 6 March 2020.
- See the Prota4U database.