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AZOBé (Lophira alata)

Trade Name


Scientific Name

Lophira alata Banks



Common Names

Azobe (Côte d`Ivoire); Yasua; Umpenek; Umawerek; Red oak; Red ironwood; Prenkebi; Pone; Plu; Parapara; Ozobe; Otugba; Oteng; Okut; Okoka; Okoga; Okoa; Okikopom; Nokue; Ngohou ibenga; Namijin-kadai; N`goule; Meni oil tree; Malah; Liku; Lihos; Kyirebente; Kyirafunti; Kyere; Kunu; Kotublassu; Kokank; Kekrefunde; K`deng; Ironpost; Ipawhaw; Gue; Faboy; Esire; Enwan; Endui; Eleba; Ebba; Bokoka; Belengbe; Bankile; Asore; Akpakpla; Akogo; Akogka; African oak; A koura; Bongossi (Germany); Endwi (Sierra Leone); Aba (Nigeria); Eba (Nigeria); Esore (Côte d`Ivoire); Bakundu (Cameroon); Ekki (United Kingdom); Bonkole (Germany); Akoga (Equatorial Guinea); Bonkole (Congo); Akoga (Gabon); Bongossi (Cameroon); Ekki (Nigeria); Kaku (Ghana); Hendui (Sierra Leone); Azobe

Scientific Name Synonyms

Lophira tholloni Tiegh.; Lophira spatulata Tiegh.; Lophira simplex G. Don; Lophira procera A. Chev.; Lophira macrophylla Tiegh.; Lophira barteri Tiegh.; Lophira africana Banks ex G. Don

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

The tree reaches a height of 50 m, with trunk diameters up to 150 cm. The bole is usually straight, clear and cylindrical up to 30 m long. Not buttressed, but sometimes it is swollen at the base.

Natural Habitat

Lophira alata is a pioneer species and occurs abundantly in wet evergreen forest. It is reported to grow in evergreen and moist deciduous forests, freshwater swamp forests, and close to riverbanks. It is known or inferred that the harvesting of specimens

Natural Distribution

West Africa.

Plantations Available?

It has been planted in Cote d`Ivoire since 1926; it is a long rotation species for plantation. The duration of the rotation is 50 years, to reach 60 cm in diameter.

Wood Identification

Anatomic Description Of Wood

Wood diffuse porous. Occasionally vessels exclusively solitary (over 90%). Tangential diameter of vessel lumina 200 micras or more (large). White deposits in heartwood vessels. Vestured pits. Vessels per mm2 less than 6 (rare). Simple perforation plates. Vessel- Axial parenchyma in continuous tangential lines or fine bands. Prismatic crystals in non-chambered axial parenchyma cells. Prismatic crystals in short chains in chambered axial parenchyma cells. Over 9 cells per parenchyma strand. Axial parenchyma bands more Rays more than 10 per mm (abundant). Rays non-storied. Rays commonly 2 seriate. Homogeneous rays and/or sub-homogeneous rays (all ray cells procumbent). Non-septate fibers. Fibers with simple to minutely bordered pits.

  • Wood Macro Photo Tangential Plane
  • Wood Micro Photo Of Transversal Section


Cites Status


General Wood Description


The sapwood is pale pink, it has a thickness of 5 cm. The heartwood is dark red to purple-brown, white deposits in the pores, it is clearly demarcated.

COLOR INDEX (1=Black, 7=Light yellow,white)



The grain is slightly but systematically interlocked; special care is needed when drying because of frequent risks of distortion.


The wood is mostly coarse in texture.

Natural Durability

Durable to decay; this species can be utilized without preservative treatment for exterior joinery or similar uses. Resistant to termites attack. Heartwood is resistant to Lyctus attacks.

Natural durability index (1= Very high durability, 7=Vey low durability)


Internal Growth Stresses

No growth stresses are reported in this species.

Silica Content

Silica Content: Negligible content of silica is reported. Amounts over 0.05% may affect wood processing. Silica Value: 0.03

Resistance To Impregnation

Nearly impossible to treat with a too much low penetration of the preservative substances.

Wood Physical Properties

Basic Density or Specific Gravity (O.D. weight/vol. green) (g/cm³)


Air-dry Density (Weight and volume at 12%MC) (g/cm³)


Total shrinkage Tangential (Saturated to 0%MC) (%)


Total shrinkage Radial (Saturated to 0%MC) (%)


Drying Defects

Ease of Drying: Drying is moderately easy; some particular care is needed. Drying Defects: Risks of distortions when interlocked grain is present. Kiln Schedules: The kiln schedule has been tested.

Recommended Dry Kiln Schedule


Dimensional stability ratio (Total Tangential Shrinkage %/Total Radial Shrinkage %)


Wood Chemical Properties

Wood Mechanical Properties

Bending Strength (MOR),12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Stiffness (MOE) 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Compression parallel to fiber 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Compression perpendicular to fiber 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Shear strength radial 12%MC (kgf/cm²)


Janka hardness (side) 12%MC (kgf)


Janka hardness (end grain) 12%MC (kgf)




Sawing of this species requires powerful equipment.

Rotary Veneer Cutting

Not suitable for veneering.

Sliced Veneer

Not suitable for veneering.

Blunting Effect

Moderate blunting effect; stellited blades for sawing and carbide tools for machining are advised.


It needs powerful tools for processing. Possible difficulties caused by interlocked grain are reported.


Rather difficult; special tools are needed.


Moderately easy; tools must be cautiously sharpened.


Moderately easy; tools must be cautiously sharpened.


Moderately easy; tools must be cautiously sharpened.


Pre-boring is necessary.


Difficult to glue because of high density.


Easy to perform; it gives good results.


Needs pre-coating.

Steam Bending

Steam bending is difficult.

Response To Hand Tools

Working with hand tools is difficult.


End Uses Summary

EXTERIOR GENERAL, bridges, poles, paling, stakes posts, rails, crossarms, crossties, piers, HOUSING GENERAL, beams, flooring, parquet, CONTAINERS, cooperage, truck bodies, truck flooring

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