Wood Anatomy Links

Wood Collection Catalogs

Wood Collection Catalogs, General Information, Course Materials, Nomenclature Taxonomy

SUPPORT INSIDEWOOD by buying a 2024 Calendar "Plants With a Past. Inside Fossil Woods." Calendar features photomicrographs of fossil woods and gives dates for Arbor Days around the world.

SUPPORT IAWA buying a copy of the photobook "Beauty in Wood"

As a service to the wood anatomical community, some of the world's largest wood collections have made their catalogs available and searchable on the web. The curators of these collections will provide sectioning blocks for research projects, especially systematic wood anatomical studies, usually with the proviso that a set of slides made from these blocks be deposited in the collection.

The xylarium of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (TWTw), Tsukuba, Japan, has a specimen database of Japanese woods (20,500 specimens). This database has detailed records and shows specimen no. (TWTw No.), family name, species name, original wood specimen no. (original wood specimen no. for specimens obtained from other xylarium; collection date, collector(s), herbarium no. of the voucher specimen, herbarium housing the voucher specimen, provenance, country, altitude, latitude, longitude, habit, habitat, various notes, and note on collection or accession. There is also a multiple-entry identification page, using IAWA hardwood list features and an image database for Japanese woods showing surface views of wood specimens (macroscopic), optical microscopic images, and herbarium vouchers. For some specimens, there are SEM images and photos of branches and woods taken in the field at the time of collection.

The Tervuren Xylarium, Laboratory for Wood Biology, Royal Museum of Central Africa, Belgium, specializes in woods from tropical Africa, but is worldwide in coverage. The collection has 48, 114 specimens representing 16,245 species. The collection is searchable by scientific or common name.

Wood Collection of the Smithsonian Institution contains ca. 42,500 specimens representing almost 3000 genera and 5000 microscope slides. Approximately 60% of the specimens are vouchered, with most of the vouchers deposited in the U.S. National Herbarium (US). There is an accompanying image gallery.

Center for Wood Anatomy Research, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. The searchable Madison wood collection (MADw) has 49,322 samples, and the Samuel J. Record collection (SJRw) numbers about 55,000 samples.

Oxford Forestry Institute Xylarium (FHOw) 24,343 samples, 10,678 species, 2,719 genera. There are alphabetical lists of the genera and collectors represented in the collection, and the number of accessions for each genus and collector.

AND for a list of the world's wood collections and details about their holdings see Index Xylariorum 4, which was compied by Anna Lynch and Peter Gasson of Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens, U.K.

Photographic Atlases and Identification Keys

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) offers two image databases:
     1. Dendrochronological image databank which offers "1400 dendrochronological relevant pictures", that can be searched by the categories: anatomy, morphology, growth zones, taxonomy, geography, modifying factors, denatured wood (e.g., charcoal, subfossil), methods (e.g. dendrometer), scale (landscacpe, whole plant). Each image is accompanied by explanatory text.
     2. The Xylem Database offers images of tree rings and wood anatomy of herbs, dwarf shrubs, shrubs and trees from arid, subtropical, temperate and boreal zones, from nearly 40 families. Photos of transverse, tangential and radial sections taken in normal and polarized light are available, and accompanied by applicable IAWA Hardwood List feature numbers and information on the species size, habitat, and geographic distribution.

Microscopic Anatomy of Central European Species by Schoch,W., Heller,I., Schweingruber, F.H.,Kienast, F., 2004. "This Web-based identification key is a completely revised (text, key) and updated (more and new photographs and new anatomic items) version of the book by Schweingruber F.H., 1990: Microscopic Wood Anatomy; Structural variability of stems and twigs in recent and subfossil woods from Central Europe. 3rd edition 1990. Birmensdorf, WSL. This paper version can still be purchased"

Commercial Timbers: Descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information. H.G. Richter & M.J. Dallwitz. About 160 entries, covering 340 taxa. Descriptions based on IAWA Hardwood Features. Extremely useful when verifying identification of a commercially important wood and for retrieving descriptions of commercially important woods.

PALM-ID is an identification key for palm stems. Description of the key and the work done to create it are in "Thomas, Romain & Dario De Franceschi. 2013. Palm stem anatomy and computer-aided identification: The Coryphoideae (Arecaceae) American Journal of Botany 100 (2): 289-313.

A pdf of a CITES Identification Guide for Tropical Woods is available.

Prof. T. Itoh published descriptions of 500 Japanese tree species in Japanese, the illustrations from his publications have all been scanned and are available from the web site of the former Wood Research Institute of Kyoto University, now called Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere. Professor's Itoh's images are in the Anatomy of Japanese Hardwood database of the site.

Macrographs of North American Woods, from Romeyn B. Hough's 1888 'American Woods,' a 14-volume set (25 species per volume), each 'species' page contained actual radial, tangential, and cross-sections of wood. Tree species east of the Rocky Mountains. The species names are the ones used by Hough in 1888. [Note: these images, with currently used names, also are available on the InsideWood site]

The Tree Collection, Florida State University. Includes cross, radial, and tangential sections for about 50 common US woods, accompanied by an abstract of information about the particular tree.

"Through the generosity of the BSA Teaching Section, BSA Education Committee and individual donors, the Botanical Society of America has made a collection of approximately 800 images available for instructional use." This Online Image Collection includes images for "Plant Anatomy" and "Xylem Development"

Photographic Atlas of Plant Anatomy Nels Lersten and John Curtis, his student, were involved in plant anatomy teaching and research for more than 60 aggregate years. In the transition to retirement, it has been their intent to make images from their work available without restriction to other teachers and students of plant anatomy. Michael Nowak, a third generation student of John Curtis, was primarily responsible for implementing the website. Since 2002, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has generously provided support and technical assistance for this unique academic resource. Most elements of plant structure are represented in this atlas, but the image set does reflect Lersten┬┐s and Curtis┬┐s research emphasis on plant secretory structures.

General Information

Wood Collection Catalogs, General Information, Course Materials,Nomenclature & Taxonomy

IAWA Multilingual Glossary of Terms Used in Wood Anatomy 2.1 MB PDF Scanned by Guillermo Angeles

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Plant Micromorphology Bibliographic Database- "a database of references relevant to the anatomy and pollen/spore morphology of flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns." An extremely useful site for finding references on wood anatomy, an extension of Mary Gregory's 1994 Bibliography of systematic wood anatomy of dicotyledons. IAWA J., Suppl. 1, 265 p. Database is searchable by family or genus.

A good introduction to the basics of wood structure and properties - Wood Handbook, Chapter 03: Structure and Function of Wood Structure and Function of Wood by Alex Wiedenhoeft, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Center for Wood Anatomy Research, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. information on the collections and how to prepare samples for identification.

Science of Dendrochronology. The "Ultimate Tree Ring Web Site" -- an extensive site with many many links to information related to dendrochronology. Materials for teachers, interactive pages with questions for students, and much much more. Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37996, USA

Gymnosperm Database edited by Christopher Earle.Descriptions (about 1000 taxa), information on the classification and ecology of gymnosperms, many images.

Links for Paleobotanists provides annotated links on teaching documents, microscopy, plant anatomy, many of which are useful for courses with sections on wood structure and properties. This index is compiled and maintained by Klaus-Peter Kelber, Mineralogisches Institut, Universitat Wusrzburg, Germany.

The Angiosperm Phylogeny web site (developed by Peter Stevens, Missouri Botanic Gardens) is an invaluable resource for current information on the characteristics of orders, families, and their relationships. Updated on a regular basis.

The International Wood Collectors Society (IWCS) is a non-profit Society devoted to distributing information on collecting wood, correctly identifying and naming wood specimens, and using wood in creative crafts. It has a bimonthly publication "World of Wood" with articles on trees, wood, wood collecting, collecting adventures and wood crafting.

The Wood Database created by Eric Meier has general articles on wood and a database with macroscopic images of commercial woods and details on their physical / mechanical properties.

Course Materials

Wood Collection Catalogs, General Information, Course Materials, Nomenclature & Taxonomy

Wood Anatomy / Wood Science Courses

PDFs of slide sets prepared by EA Wheeler and used in an Oct. 2009. Short Course "WOOD IDENTIFICATION FOR FLOORING PROFESSIONALS" Course conducted by Wood Products Extension, N.C. State University
   Set 1: Names and basics of wood anatomy. 1.8 MB PDF
   Set 2: Brief introduction to softwoods 1.7 MB PDF
   Set 3: Hardwood anatomy basics for handlens identification 2.1 MB PDF
   Set 4: InsideWood and miscellaneous hardwood features 2.6 MB PDF

If you are using the "IAWA list of microscropic features for hardwood identification" in your teaching, here are some SLIDE SETS to accompany use of the booklet. These pdf's are best downloaded with Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or more recent versions.
   Features 1-12. Growth rings, porosity, vessel arrangement, vessel grouping, vessel outline [2.2 MB PDF ]
   Features 13-39. Perforation plates, intervessel pits, vessel-ray pitting, helical thickenings in vessel elements [2.2 MB PDF ]
   Features 40-59. Tangential vessel diameter, vessels per square millimetre, vessels of two distinct diameter classes, tyloses and deposits in vessels, wood vesselless [864 kb PDF ]
   Features 60-70. Tracheids and fibres [1.8 MB PDF ]
   Features 75-95. Axial parenchyma [2.4 MB PDF ]
   Features 96-122. Rays and storied structure [2.1 MB PDF ]
   Features 124-135. Oil and mucilage cells, intercellular canals, tubes/tubules, cambial variants [1.1 MB PDF ]
   Features 136-162. Mineral inclusions [1.4 MB PDF ]

Plant Anatomy and Botany Courses with Wood Anatomy / Secondary Xylem Sections

Table of Contents from James Mauseth's Plant Anatomy text that complements his Plant Anatomy course. With a series of labeled micrographs with detailed figure captions. University of Texas-Austin, USA.

Section on vascular tissues from Botany On-line. Alice Bergfeld - Rolf Bergmann - Peter v. Sengbusch, University of Hamburg. Germany. There are a few minor problems with the translation from German to English, but mostly good basic information.

Nomenclature / Taxonomy

Wood Collection Catalogs, General Information, Course Materials, Nomenclature & Taxonomy

If you need to check species names of modern plants start with The Plant List which "is a working list of all known plant species. Version 1 aims to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plants (flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). The Plant List provides the Accepted Latin name for most species, with links to all Synonyms by which that species has been known. It also includes Unresolved names for which the contributing data sources did not contain sufficient evidence to decide whether they were Accepted or Synonyms."

W3 TROPICOS "provides access to the Missouri Botanical Garden's VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database and associated authority files." "Enter a scientific name ... to obtain current information on the name, its place of publication, type, and other information about the plant."

"GRIN provides the structure and nomenclature for the accessions of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) [Agricultural Research Service, USDA, USA]. Many plants (37,000 taxa, 14,000 genera) are included in GRIN taxonomy, especially economic plants." Provides access to other taxonomic databases.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K., database of Vascular Plant Families and Genera .

IPNI (the International Plant Names Index) provides a searchable list of plant names. Collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium.

ILDIS (International Legume Database and Information Service) World Database of Legumes, a searchable and annotated index of legume species.

Managed by the International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI), the Global Plant Checklist (GPC) is a cooperative international project designed to help humanity manage the earth's biodiversity efficiently and sustainably. With a total of 248400 source records, the GPC now covers 201,397 different plant names belonging to 135,491 "potential taxa".

Index Nominum Genericorum (ING), a collaborative project of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Utrecht, was initiated in 1954 as a compilation of generic names published for all organisms covered by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. ING is now searchable online.