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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Homalium spp.

African Homalium

Family: Flacourtiaceae

Other Common Names: Melefoufou (Ivory Coast), Bro-kpah (Liberia).

Distribution: Tropical West Africa from Guinea to Gabon, mainly in the dense rain forests.

The Tree: Reaches a height of 80 to 100 ft, boles straight and clear, sometimes with low buttresses on a swollen base; trunk diameter 2 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Wood yellowish white, sometimes with darker stripes; heartwood and sapwood not differentiated. Texture fine; grain straight or interlocked; dull.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.70; air-dry density 54 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (40) 18,100 2,170 9,000

12% (44) 18,500 2,640 10,100

Janka side hardness 2,050 lb for dry material. Amsler toughness 178 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to require very careful seasoning. No information on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 7.0%; tangential 9.6%; volumetric 17.2%.

Working Properties: Easy to saw, plane, and finish but hardened cutters are required. Rapid blunting may occur due to the presence of silica. Good steam- bending characteristics.

Durability: Wood is moderately durable; fairly resistant to marine borer attack. Good weathering properties.

Preservation: Heartwood moderately resistant to impregnation; sapwood permeable.

Uses: Heavy construction, flooring, boatbuilding, railroad crossties, poles and piles.

Additional Reading: (3), (40), (44)