USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: Mfu, Mkunguni, Mtongoti (Tanzania), Muyinja (Kenya).
Distribution: East Africa, found in rain and subtropical forests to elevations of about 6,000 ft.
The Tree: Total height 70 to 110 ft; boles 30 to 60 ft, rarely straight, cylindrical or oval in cross section; trunk diameters 2.5 to 3.5 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood dark green or brown tinged with green and yellow, darkening on exposure; sapwood pale yellow or grayish white, distinct. Texture fine and even; grain usually straight but may be wavy and irregular, sometimes figured; lustrous; bitter taste but without scent.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.56; air-dry density 43 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (5) 15,200 2,100 8,590
Janka side hardness 1,370 lb for dry material.
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rapidly with little degrade aside from moderate end-checking in thick material. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content: radial 2.1%; tangential 3.7%. Movement in service is rated as medium.
Working Properties: Boards often split during log breakdown, saws easily and machines well to a smooth finish, turns readily, poor nailing properties.
Durability: Heartwood is moderately durable and also moderately resistant to termite attack.
Preservation: Heartwood is not treatable; sapwood is permeable, absorptions of about 10 pcf of preservative oils can be obtained using either an open-tank or pressure system.
Uses: Fine furniture and cabinetwork, joinery, turnery, inlay work, decorative veneers, paneling.
Additional Reading: (3), (5), (54)