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Detailed Specs: Ekki-Azobe

Scientific Name: Lophira alata
Family:  Ochnaceae
Other Names:  Bongossi, Bakunda (Cameroon), Kaku (Ghana), Escore (Ivory Coast), Aba (Nigeria), Endwi (Sierra Leone)


The Tree

Grows up to 160 feet in height with a long clear bole of 100 feet. The trunk’s diameter range from 5-6 feet without buttresses but lower portion of the bole are sometimes swollen.

The Wood

General Characteristics: The heartwood ranging from dark red, chocolate brown or purple brown with conspicuous white vessels. The sapwood up to 2 inches wide, pale pink and well defined. Its texture is coarse, the grain is usually interlocked and luster is low with no particular odor or taste.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (oven dry/green volume) about 0.09; air density 70 pcf.

Drying and Shrinkage: Very difficult to season without excessive degrade, particularly surface and end checking, also dries slowly. Kiln schedule T2-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 8.4%; Tangential 11.0% volumetric 17.0. Movement in service is rated medium.

Working Properties: It is very difficult to work with hand and machine tools; severe blunting effect is machined when dry. It can be dressed to a smooth finish and gluing properties are usually good.

Janka hardness 2900 lbs. for green material and 3350 lbs. for dried. Amsler toughness 625 in-lb 12% moisture content (2cm specimen)

Durability: Heartwood is rated as extremely resistant to preservative treatment and the sapwood is resistant.

Distribution: West Africa and extending into the Congo Basin; occurs in evergreen and moist deciduous forests, in fresh water swamp forests and close riverbanks.

Preservation: The heartwood is rated extremely resistant to preservative treatments and the sapwood is resistant.

Uses: Suited for heavy durable construction work, harbor work, heavy duty flooring, parquet flooring and railroad cross ties.


–      Chundnoff, Martin (1984), “Tropical Timbers of the World.” USDA Forest Service Ag. Handbook No.607.

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