USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
syn. L. klaineana
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.
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)