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Featured Wood
Featured Wood
What Wood Is This?
Hint: This species is native to Eastern North America. Missouri Botanic Garden: "primarily a lowland tree found in low wet woods, bottomlands and pond peripheries... spectacular scarlet fall color .. genus name comes from [name of] one of the water nymphs." According to Mabberley's Plant Book there are seven species in the genus: 3 in the SE US, 1 in Costa Rica, 3 in China.
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The InsideWood project integrates wood anatomical information from the literature and original observations into an internet-accessible database useful for research and teaching. The InsideWood database contains brief descriptions of fossil and modern woody dicots (hardwoods) and modern softwoods. It is worldwide in coverage. The database is searchable by an interactive, multiple-entry key. This wood anatomy web site has over 50,000 images showing anatomical details, primarily photomicrographs. .

The descriptions use features from the International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA) List of Features for Hardwood Identification (IAWA Committee 1989) and List of Features for Softwood Identification (IAWA Committee 2004) . We highly recommend that database users (DOWNLOAD) these publications and refer to them when choosing features to use in an identification search.

Articles about wood identification and InsideWood and a presentation about InsideWood
   Wheeler, E.A. & P. Baas. 1998. Wood Identification - A Review. IAWA Journal 19 (3): 241-264. PDF
   Wheeler, E.A. 2011. InsideWood – A Web Resource For Hardwood Identification. IAWA Journal 32(2): 199-211. PDF
   Wheeler, E.A., P.E. Gasson, & P. Baas. 2020. Using The InsideWood Web Site: Potentials And Pitfalls. IAWA Journal 41 (4): 412-462. PDF
   Wheeler, E.A. 2021. InsideWood. Virtual Presentation at Summer School. Wood and charcoals in Mediterranean forest ecology: anatomical identification and functional traits to interpret past and current climate changes. University of Naples, organized by Veronica DeMicco. PDF

Become a fan of InsideWood on Facebook to get information on additions to InsideWood, and occasional comments on how-to-use the website.
The Facebook photo albums listed below have slide sets with background information on InsideWood, including hints and cautions about searching the database. They are public and you do not need to belong to Facebook to view them. Links to them are below

"About InsideWood" with information on source of the data and the images, how to export descriptions, and caveats about database content.
"InsideWood Notes. 27 March 2010" with some more cautions and reminders about coding, e.g. vessel-ray parenchyma pits.
"15 April 2010. Notes" cautions on coding vessel diameter and density, perforated ray cells (a problematic feature).
"InsideWood search hints" two slides about coding for absence.
"Reminder about storied structure" two slides about storied structure.
"Brief Introduction to Microscopic Wood Anatomy"

Support InsideWood by buying the "2021. Plants With A Past. Inside Fossil Woods" Calendar. With photomicrographs of woods of different plant families and dates for Arbor Days around the world.

Support the International Association of Wood Anatomists by buying the photobook "Beauty In Wood."

To use the multiple-entry key for wood identification effectively and to interpret the database content correctly, users need to be familiar with the microscopic anatomy of hardwoods at the level of university courses in plant anatomy or wood science. If you don't have this background, visit the course materials section of Wood Anatomy Links for help.

The InsideWood Working Group (IWG): This site is a project of the NC State University Libraries and the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC, USA. The project benefits from collaboration with the Micromorphology Group, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K., the National Herbarium of the Netherlands, and CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, Australia

Support: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grants BRC 0237368 and DBI 0518386 to North Carolina State University, Elisabeth Wheeler, Shirley Rodgers, and Kathy Brown, Principal Investigators. The addition of the softwood database was supported by a grant from the International Forestry Program of the U.S.Forest Service to the NCSU Library.

Before Using This Site Please Read the Disclaimer and Data Use Policy