USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technical Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: M'Boy (Sierra Leone, Liberia), Bahia (Ivory Coast), Baya, Subah (Ghana), Elolom (Cameroon), Elelom (Gabon), Vuku, M'Voukou (Zaire), Nzingu (Zambia, Uganda).
Distribution: Mainly West Africa from Sierra Leone to the Congo region and Angola, gregarious in freshwater swamps.
Reaches a height of over 100 ft; boles straight and clear to 60 ft; usually free from buttresses; trunk diameter 3 to 5 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood uniform light yellowish- or pinkish brown; sapwood wide, not usually differentiated. Texture fine and even; grain moderately straight to interlocked or spiral; luster low; sometimes with gum veins that appear as dark streaks; freshly cut timber has an unpleasant odor. Silica up to 0.24% is reported.
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) 7,900 1,180 3,960
12% 12,100 1,350 6,740
12% (47) 10,300 1,020 5,600
Janka side hardness 700 lb for green material and 780 lb for dry. Amsler toughness 116 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rapidly with little or no degrade. Kiln schedule T13-C4S is suggested for 4/4 stock and T11-D3S for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.1%; tangential 9.0%; volumetric 12.0%. Movement in service is rated as small.
Working Properties: Works well with both hand and machine tools and takes a good finish if cutters are kept sharp; blunting is slight to severe because of silica; easy to glue; veneers easily.
Durability: Heartwood is not durable nor resistant to termites; sapwood liable to powder-post beetle attack. Good acid resistance.
Preservation: Heartwood moderately resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood is permeable.
Uses: A general-purpose timber, furniture components, joinery, domestic flooring, plywood, carving.
Additional Reading: (3), (9), (34), (47)