Casearia battiscombei
Family: Flacourtiaceae
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Other Common Names: Casearia, Mlikawandu, White Matua (Tanzania).


Distribution: Common in the montane rain forests of the Northern Province of Tanzania, also in Uganda and Kenya.


The Tree: A total height of 80 to 90 ft with 30-ft bole; buttresses up to 6 ft; stem diameters to 3 ft.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Timber is mainly sapwood, whitish to pale yellow brown with red streaks; heartwood limited to a narrow dark brown core. Texture fine and even; grain straight; has an unpleasant odor when freshly sawn, disappears on drying.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.52; air-dry density 40 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (53)                     11,700             1,500                           6,620


Janka side hardness 720 lb for dry material.


Drying and Shrinkage: Air dries moderately slowly with some tendency to warp. Kiln schedule T2-D4 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-D3 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to air dry: radial 1.9%; tangential 4.9%.


Working Properties: Works easily with machine and hand tools, dresses to a smooth surface, easy to nail. Sawdust can be irritating to mucous membranes.


Durability: Wood is vulnerable to attack by decay fungi and termites, liable to blue stain.


Preservation: Sapwood is easily treated using either open-tank or pressure-vacuum systems. Absorption of over 15 pcf. of preservative oils is reported.


Uses: Boxes and crates, interior joinery, furniture components.


Additional Reading:: 3), (5), (53)

3.     Bolza, E., and W.G. Keating. 1972. African timbers-the properties, uses, and characteristics of 700 species. CSIRO. Div. Of Build. Res., Melbourne, Austrailia.

4.     Bryce, J.M. 1967. The commercial timbers of Tanzania. Tanzanian For. Div. Util. Sec. Moshi.

53.  Tanzania: Util. Div. For. Dep. 1961. Timbers of Tanganyika: Casearia battiscombei (Casearia). Moshi.



From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.