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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Guibourtia spp.


Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Essingang (Cameroon), Ovang, Kevazingo (Gabon), Waka (Zaire).

Distribution: The species in this group are found in Equatorial Africa from Southeast Nigeria, through Cameroon and Gabon to the Congo region. Occur in swampy or periodically inundated forests, also near river or lakeshores.

The Tree: Reaches a height of 130 to 150 ft; boles are straight and cylindrical to 70 ft, sometimes fluted or buttressed; trunk diameters 3 to 6 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pink, vivid red, or red brown with purple streaks or veins, on exposure becomes yellow or medium brown with a reddish tint, veining becomes less conspicuous; sapwood whitish and clearly demarcated. Texture fine and even; grain straight or interlocked; lustrous; sometimes highly figured; has an unpleasant odor when first cut which disappears on drying.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) mostly 0.65 to 0.78; air-dry density 50 to 60 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (47) 33,500 3,470 13,000

12% (47) 22,600 2,480 10,500

12% (46) 19,200 2,200 9,600

Amsler toughness 222 to 605 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Timber must be seasoned slowly to avoid distortion and checking. Kiln schedule T2-C2 may be suitable for 4/4 stock and T2-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.0 to 7.6%; tangential 6.6 to 10.2%; volumetric 9.4 to 16.6%.

Working Properties: Though quite hard and heavy the species work, saw, and plane rather well and produce a good finish, glues well, a good wood for turnings.

Durability: Heartwood has good durability and is resistant to termite attack. Moderately resistant to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood resistant to impregnation; sapwood moderately resistant.

Uses: Some resemblance to rosewood. Fine furniture and cabinetwork, decorative veneers, fancy turnery, inlay work.

Additional Reading: (3), (9), (46), (47)