Other Common Names: Bompegya (Ghana), Kaikumba (Liberia, Sierra Leone), Ologbomodu (Nigeria), Aborzok (Cameroon), Bokoli (Zaire).
Distribution: Found in mixed deciduous forests from Sierra Leone to Angola and Zaire, prefers rather wet environment and sometimes forms small stands on flood plains.
The Tree: Up to 120 ft in height; bole straight and cylindrical and may be clear to 50 ft; trunk diameters to about 3 ft; base of trunk is swollen and more or less lobed.
General Characteristics: Heartwood dark red or red brown, darkening to a mahogany color; sapwood light or pink-brown, well demarcated. Specked with horizontal gum ducts. Texture somewhat coarse; grain straight to interlocked; without luster; odor or taste not characteristic.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.53 to 0.70; air- dry density 41 to 54 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
12% (46) 23,300 2,080 11,200
12% (46) 20,100 2,120 9,900
Amsler toughness 122 to 262 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Difficult to season, must be dried slowly and carefully to avoid collapse and honeycomb. No information on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 6.5%; tangential 10.0%; volumetric 14.1%. Reported to be rather unstable after manufacture.
Working Properties: Saws cleanly and works well but mineral matter in the vessels tends to blunt cutters. Appreciable quantities of gum are exuded if veneers are hot-pressed into plywood. Takes a fine finish.
Durability: Heartwood is reported to have good decay resistance but is moderately susceptible to termite attack.
Preservation: Resistant to preservative treatments.
Uses: Furniture components, joinery, millwork, general carpentry. Considered as a mahogany substitute.
Additional Reading: (3), (46)
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.
46. Sallenave, P. 1964. Proprietes physiques et mecaniques des bois tropicaux. Premier Supplement. Centre Tech. For. Trop. No. 23.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.