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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Strombosia glaucescens


Family: Olacaceae

Other Common Names: Poe (Ivory Coast), Itako, Otingbo (Nigeria).

Distribution: From Sierra Leone to the Congo region; found in rain forests, often as a dominant, and in transitional formations.

The Tree: Up to 100 ft in height; bole straight and slender, without buttresses; trunk diameter up to 1.5 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pink or pale brown with purplish streaks; sapwood wide, yellowish and sharply defined. Texture fine; grain fairly straight; lustrous has an unpleasant smell when freshly cut; rather oily to touch.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.80; air-dry density 61 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (46) 28,200 2,370 13,100

Amsler toughness 505 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Difficult to season, liable to surface and end checking. No information on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 7.2%; tangential 10.2%; volumetric 15.0%.

Working Properties: Timber saws cleanly but is apt to spring and split, works well and takes a smooth finish, glues well, splits in nailing and requires preboring, can be sliced into veneers.

Durability: Heartwood is highly durable and is immune to termite and other insect attack.

Preservation: Heartwood extremely resistant to preservative treatments; sapwood fairly permeable.

Uses: Often used in the round as building poles and transmission poles (treated), striking tool handles, turnery, heavy-duty flooring. Oil from seeds is used for ointment and soap. Suggested as a substitute for European boxwood.

Additional Reading: (3), (46)