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