Other Common Names: Lebombo ironwood, Nsimbitsi (Transvaal-South Africa), Cimbirre (Mozambique).
Distribution: Found in Southeast Africa, in mountainous areas along streams, frequently in pure stands.
The Tree: Reaches a height of 100 ft with a straight cylindrical bole to 50 ft; trunk diameters 2 to 3 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood light or medium brown, reddish tint, with darker markings; sapwood yellowish white, not sharply demarcated. Texture very fine and even; grain straight to irregular and wavy; somewhat lustrous; without characteristic odor or taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.72; air-dry density 55 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (43) 18,700 NA 9,500
Janka side hardness 2,540 lb for dry material.
Drying and Shrinkage: Seasons slowly, prone to surface checking, requires careful air-drying using thin stickers and pile covers. A kiln schedule similar to T3-D2 has been suggested. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 5.8%; tangential 6.2%; volumetric 11.6%.
Working Properties: Reported to saw and machine without particular difficulty; a good turnery wood; gives a good finish; glues well.
Durability: Heartwood highly resistant to attack by decay fungi and termites.
Preservation: Very difficult to treat.
Uses: Flooring (parquet), heavy construction, railroad crossties, turnery, mine props.
Additional Reading: (3), (23), (43)
3. Bolza, E., and W. G. Keating. 1972. African timbers-the properties, uses, and characteristics of 700 species. CSIRO. Div. of Build. Res., Melbourne, Australia.
23. France: Bois For. Trop. 1965. Androstachys johnsonii. Bois For. Trop. 103:60.
43.Portugal: Laboratoria Nacional de Engenharia Civil. 1965. Ficha de caracteristicas. Mecrusse. Androstachys johnsonii. Lab. Nac. Eng. Civil., Lisbon No. 5.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.