African Mahogany
Common Name:African Mahogany
Scientific Name:Khaya spp. (Khaya anthotheca, K. grandifoliola, K. ivorensis, K. senegalensis)
Distribution:West tropical Africa
Tree Size:100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight:40 lbs/ft3 (640 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness:1,070 lbf (4,760 N)
General Description
The heartwood is distinctly pink when freshly sawn, but when seasoned varies in colour from light pinkish-brown to a deep reddish shade; the yellowish-brown sapwood is not always clearly demarcated. The heartwood of K. grandifoliola tends to be darker. The grain is usually interlocked and the texture is of a coarser nature than that of American mahogany.
The The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies many Khaya species as EN – Endangered: at very high risk of extinction or VU – Vunerable: at risk of extinction. It is on CITES Appendix II. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.
Market Value and usage
Readily available in a variety of lumber sizes, as well as plywood and veneer. Prices are low to moderate for an imported hardwood.
The quality varies with the locality of growth; some localities are said to produce coarse-textured logs with spongy hearts while others are noted for the fine texture and character of their timber. A common feature is the defect known as 'thunder shake' (cross fractures), which are particularly abundant in trees with a soft or 'punky' heart. K. nyasica from East Africa inclines to a reddish or golden-brown shade. The strength of African mahogany compares favourably with that of American mahogany (Swietenia), but is more resistant to splitting.
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