USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
(608) 231-9200


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Erythrophleum ivorense

and E. guineense


Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Tali (Ivory Coast), Erun, Sasswood (Nigeria), Potrodom (Ghana), Kassa (Zaire), Muave (Zambia), Mwavi (Tanzania).

Distribution: Widely distributed in tropical Africa from the west to east coast. The genus is found in evergreen, deciduous, and savanna forests.

The Tree: Up to 100 to 140 ft in height; with a bole length of 30 to 50 ft, usually irregular often buttressed; trunk diameters 3 to 5 ft. Seed and bark are poisonous if ingested.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood is red- , yellow-, or orange brown, darkening on exposure, sometimes streaked; sapwood creamy yellow, distinct. Texture coarse; grain interlocked or irregular; moderately high luster.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) about 0.72; air-dry density 56 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

Green (40) 18,000 1,930 10,300

12% 23,500 2,240 14,100

12% (46) 14,400 1,530 8,100

12% (46) 21,800 2,460 11,800

Janka side hardness 2,320 lb for green material and 2,930 lb for dry. Amsler toughness 195 to 238 in.-lb for dry material (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Dries slowly with some tendency to warp, generally with little degrade. Kiln schedule T3-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 5.8%; tangential 8.6%; volumetric 11.5%. Movement in service is rated as small.

Working Properties: Dry wood is very difficult to saw and machine, rapid blunting of tools, carbide-tipped cutters are suggested; works to a smooth finish and takes a high polish, turns well. Sawdust may cause nose and throat irritation.

Durability: Heartwood is rated as very durable and highly resistant to termite attack. Also described as resistant to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood untreatable; sapwood variable.

Uses: Flooring, heavy construction, railway crossties, harbor and dockwork.

Additional Reading: (3), (5), (40), (46)