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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Lovoa trichilioides

syn. L. klaineana




Family: Meliaceae

Other Common Names: Mpengwa (Ghana), Anamemila, Apopo, Sida (Nigeria), Bombulu (Zaire), Dibetou (Gabon, Ivory Coast), Congowood, Tigerwood (United States).

Distribution: West Tropical Africa from Sierra Leone to Gabon; occurs in evergreen and deciduous forests, preferring moist sites, tends to be gregarious.

The Tree: May attain a height of 150 ft; boles straight and cylindrical, clear to 60 to 90 ft. trunk diameters to 4 ft above short buttresses.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood yellowish brown, sometimes marked with dark streaks or veins; sapwood buff or light gray, narrow, clearly demarcated. Texture fine to medium; grain usually interlocked with an attractive ribbon figure; lustrous cedarlike scent.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.45; air-dry density 34 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (9) 8,200 1,060 4,320

12% 11,900 1,340 6,990

12%(44) 12,600 NA 6,400

Janka side hardness 690 lb for green material and 940 lb for dry. Amsler toughness 195 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Dries fairly rapidly with little degrade, existing heart shake may extend. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content: radial about 2.0%; tangential about 5.0%. Movement in service is rated as small.

Working Properties: Easy to work but sharp tools are required to avoid tearing, particularly when machining quartersawn faces. Good gluing properties, moderate steam-bending properties.

Durability: Heartwood is rated as moderately durable, liable to dry-wood termite attack. Sapwood liable to powder-post beetle attack.

Preservation: Heartwood is rated as extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood is moderately resistant.

Uses: Furniture and cabinetwork, decorative veneers, paneling, joinery, shop fixtures, gunstocks.

Additional Reading: (3), (6), (9), (44)