Distribution: Central and tropical West Africa; common in dense equatorial rain forests, often in small groups.


The Tree: Reaches a height of 100 to 130 ft, bole straight, cylindrical, and clear to 70 ft; trunk diameters 2 to 4 ft, sometimes to 5 ft.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood vivid red when freshly cut darkening to a purple brown on exposure; sapwood 4 to 8 in. wide, whitish to brown yellow, distinct. Texture coarse; grain straight to interlocked; lustrous; faint aromatic scent when freshly cut. Sawdust may cause respiratory problems.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.55 to 0.67; air- dry density 42 to 51 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content         Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength
(%)                                          (Psi)                 (1,000 Psi)                  (Psi)
12% (46)                                13,900             1,560                          8,450
12% (46)                                18,600             1,750                           7,800

Amsler toughness 155 to 272 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).


Drying and Shrinkage: Dries very well with a minimum of degrade. Kiln schedule T10-D5S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T8-D4S for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.3%; tangential 5.2%; volumetric 7.6%. Movement in service is very small.


Working Properties: Saws well but requires slow feed, easy to machine but with some tearing of interlocked grain, takes a good finish, glues easily and holds nails and screws satisfactorily.


Durability: Heartwood is very durable and very resistant to termite attack. Excellent weathering properties.


Preservation: Heartwood fairly resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood moderately resistant.


Uses: Fine joinery, fancy turnery, carvings, flooring, decorative veneer, tool and knife handles.
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