Cordyla africana
Family: Leguminosae
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Other Common Names: Mroma, Mpachamu, Mgwata (Tanzania).


Distribution: Locally common in riparian and swamp forests throughout northern and eastern Tanzania.


The Tree: Reaches a height of 110 ft with a bole length of 50 ft, usually curved, without buttresses; trunk diameter to about 3 ft.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood yellowish brown with darker bands; sapwood 2 to 3 in. wide, pale yellow, moderately distinct. Texture coarse; grain wavy or interlocked, showing an attractive stripe figure; cut surfaces somewhat oily.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.70; air-dry density 54 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

12%(5)                        11,600             1,740                           8,320


Janka side hardness 1,580 lb for dry material.


Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rapidly with some tendency to check but with little warp. No information available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to 12% moisture content: radial 3.8%; tangential 5.3%. Movement in service is rated as medium.


Working Properties: Moderately easy to work with machine tools, shapes cleanly except where grain is irregular, drills and mortises well, difficult to work with hand tools, does not dress smoothly in turnings.


Durability: Heartwood is rated high in durability, not liable to termite attack.


Preservation: Heartwood is extremely resistant to preservative treatments.


Uses: General heavy construction, railroad crossties.


Additional Reading: (3), (5), (59)


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

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

59.  Tanzania: Util. Div For. Dep. 1966. Timbers of Tanhanyika: cordyla africana ( Mroma).Moshi.




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