Berrya ammonilla Roxb.
Espera cordifolia Willd.
Berrya cordifolia is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 metres tall, though in some parts of its range it barely exceeds 6 metres[
]. The bole can be 10 - 50cm in diameter and is unbranched for up to 11 metres[
A valued timber species in areas where it grows taller, such as Sri Lanka, where it is commonly exploited from the wild. The tree is being grown in plantations in several areas in the tropics and is also grown as an ornamental.
The seeds have stiff hairs which may penetrate the skin and cause painful itching[
E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent through Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to Australia.
Forests in the drier regions of Sri Lanka[
]. Moist upper mixed deciduous forests and the edges of evergreen forests at elevations from 100 - 400 metres in Thailand[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the humid, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 26 - 32°c, but can tolerate 20 - 34°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,700 - 3,300mm, but tolerates 2,500 - 3,500mm and a distinct dry season[
Grows best in a sunny position or in light shade in a fertile, medium to heavy soil[
]. The tree requires partial shade, especially in the seedling stage; solitary trees in full sun grow poorly[
]. Dislikes clay soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 5.5 - 8[
]. Tolerant of poor drainage, but it is not resistant to drought[
Whilst seedling growth is slow, later on the tree grows fairly fast with an average annual bole diameter increase of 1cm for at least the first 30 years[
The tree coppices well and produces root suckers[
The plant has been grown in windbreaks and shelterbelts[
A fibre of low quality is obtained from the bark[
The heartwood is dark red-brown, often with darker streaks; it is distinctly demarcated from the whitish to pale brown sapwood. The grain is straight or shallowly interlocked; texture fine to medium; the wood surface is rather dull, with a slightly oily feel; when freshly sawn it has a pungent odour[
]. The wood is very resilient and tough; hard; flexible; the heartwood is durable and extremely resistant to impregnation, whilst the sapwood is susceptible to Lyctus attack[
]. It is difficult to saw, but it works well with other tools and has good bending properties. It finishes and polishes well and splits cleanly, but is difficult to glue[
]. A valuable timber, it is used for high quality furniture, but is also suitable for a wide range of other uses such as house building, mine props, boats, tool handles, turnery, oars, wheel work and shafts[
Seed - about 30% of the seeds germinate in 14 - 33 days, but a germination percentage of 20% has also been recorded[
]. Seedlings 8 - 10 months old are used as bare-rooted planting stock. Stumps prepared from 1.5 - 2-year-old stock with a diameter of 2cm can also be used; the shoot is trimmed to 3 - 4cm and the roots to 20cm. Planting of stumps resulted in 70 - 75% survival[
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