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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Ricinodendron heudelotii


Family: Euphorbiaceae

Other Common Names: Munguella (Angola), Essessang (Cameroon), Bofeko (Zaire), Wama (Ghana), Okhuen (Nigeria), Kishongo (Uganda).

Distribution: West tropical Africa from Guinea to Angola and eastward to Uganda; occurs in rain forests but is typical of secondary formations and is common on abandoned farmland.

The Tree: May reach a height of 100 ft, sometimes only 20 to 30 ft, bole straight and cylindrical; trunk diameter 3 to 4 ft; sometimes buttressed.

The Wood: General Characteristics: Wood whitish or pale yellow, darkening on exposure; sapwood and heartwood not differentiated. Texture rather coarse; grain straight; without luster.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) about 0.20; air-dry density 15 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12%(3) 4,550 525 2,480

12%(3) 5,240 625 2,800

12%(3) 5,000 680 2,980

Amsler toughness 22 to 50 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Seasons rapidly with little or no degrade. No information on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.0%; tangential 4.8%; volumetric 7.6%.

Working Properties: Saws and works easily, nails without splitting.

Durability: Liable to decay and termite attack. Logs are prone to staining and require rapid extraction and conversion.

Preservation: Permeable to preservatives.

Uses: Boxes and crates, plywood core stock, carvings, fishnet floats. Considered a good balsa substitute.

Additional Reading: (3), (6), (46)