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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Swartzia fistuloides


Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Oken, Ndina, Awong (Gabon), Kiela Kusu (Congo-Brazzaville).

Distribution: From Ivory Coast to Gabon and the Congo region; found in the dense rain forests, in small groups.

The Tree: May reach a height of 70 to 90 ft; bole irregular, short; base of tree sometimes swollen; trunk diameter 2 to 3 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pink, yellow, or dark brown, striped with red-brown bands on quartered surfaces; sapwood whitish or pale brown, distinct. Texture rather coarse; grain wavy or interlocked.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.82; air-dry density 64 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (44) 25,800 2,580 13,100

12% (44) 22,400 2,380 13,800

Amsler toughness 322 to 376 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Seasons slowly with some surface and end checking. No information on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.2%; tangential 5.8%; volumetric 10.7%.

Working Properties: Works well with machine tools, planes satisfactorily with little grain tearing, often chars in boring, glues well, can be cut into veneers if steamed or heated.

Durability: Heartwood is very durable and is immune to termites and other insects.

Preservation: Heartwood and sapwood extremely resistant to preservative treatments.

Uses: Tool handles, veneer, turnery, carvings.

Additional Reading: (3), (44)