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Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa)

Family – Moracea

Distribution – Ivory Coast to Angola, and from Sudan to Mozambique on the East coast.

Other Names: Morus excelsa, Chlorophora alba, Chlorophora excelsa, Chlorophora tenuifolia, Maclura excelsa, Milicia africana, Abang, Agui, Akede, Bakana, Bang, Banghi, Bobang, Bonzo, Bwagashanga, Corkwood, Elowa, Elua, Elui, Emang, Geh, Guele, Guh, Gutumba, Intule, Kambala, Kimurumba, Logo asagu, Loko, Lusanga, Mamangi, Mandji, Mbala, Mbara, Mereira, Mgunda, Minarui, Mokongo, Moloundou, Molundu, Moreira, Muberry, Mucoco, Murie, Murumba, Mururi, Mutumba, Mutumbav, Muvule, Mvule, Mvuli, Nsan, Ntong, Obas tree, Odji, Odoum, Odum, Oduna, Ofryio, Olia, Olua, Olwaa, Oroko, Oroko ulokoodigpe, Roco, Rokko, Sanga, Semei, Semli, Simli, Ssare, Tema, Toumbohiro noir, Tule mufala, Uklobce, Uloko-mushinogbon, Ulundu, Vai

Characteristics: When freshly cut the heartwood is a distinct yellow in colour, but on exposure to light it quickly becomes golden brown. The grain is usually interlocked and the texture is rather coarse but even, and the wood weighs on average 660 Kg / M3 when dried. Large, hard deposits of calcium carbonate called “stone” deposits, are sometimes present in cavities, probably as a result of injury to the tree.

Working Qualities: Iroko works fairly well with most tools, although with some dulling effect on their cutting edges. On quarter – sawn stock there is a tendency for grain to pick up but an excellent finish can be obtained if the grain is filled. It takes nails and screws well, and can be glued satisfactorily.

Uses: The timber is of great importance in both East and West Africa. It is valuable for ship and boat building, light flooring, interior and exterior joinery, window frames, stair treads, furniture, counter tops, carvings, marine uses such as piling and in dock and harbour work.