Baillonella toxisperma
Family: Sapotaceae
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Other Common Names: Njabi (Nigeria, Cameroon), Adza (Gabon), African Pearwood (U.K.), Dimpampi (Congo).


Distribution: Found in the dense forests of Equatorial Africa, often in small patches on dry or moist soils.


The Tree: Reaches a height of 200 ft with straight cylindrical boles to 100 ft; trunk diameter 6 ft, reaching to 10 ft, some butt swelling in older trees.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pinkish brown, red brown, or a rich red; sapwood pinkish white or gray brown, rather well demarcated.  Texture is fine and even; grain straight, sometimes wavy; has an attractive figure; dust may affect mucous membranes.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.65 to 0.77; air- dry density 50 to 60 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (44)                     21,500             NA                   9,600


12% (44)                     25,300             2,200               12,200


Amsler toughness 242 to 665 in.-lb for dry material (2-cm specimen).


Drying and Shrinkage: Dries slowly and with care seasons without checking and warping. No information available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 5.9%; tangential 7.5%; volumetric 12.6%. Stable.


Working Properties: Because of silica content there is a rapid dulling of cutters, otherwise works easily; glues and finishes well; has good steam-bending properties.


Durability: Heartwood is rated as very durable, resistant to termite attack; and is reported to be rarely attacked by marine borers.


Preservation: Reported to be not treatable (hot and cold bath).


Uses: Furniture, cabinetwork, decorative flooring, turnery and carving, decorative veneers, joinery, store fittings.


Additional Reading:    (3), (19), (44)


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.

19.  France: Bois For.  Trop.  1956.  Moabi (Baillonella toxisperma).  Bois For.  Trop.  45:27-30.

44.Sallenave, P. 1955.  Proprietes et mecaniques des bois tropicaux de l'union  Francaise.  Pub.  Centre    Tech.  For.  Trop.  No.  8.


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