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MECRUSSE (Androstachys johnsonii)

Trade Name


Scientific Name

Androstachys johnsonii Prain



Common Names

Nsimbitsi (South Africa); Legombo (Zimbabwe); Ironwood (Zimbabwe); Mezimbite (Mozambique); Mecrusse (Mozambique)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Weihea subpeltata Sim; Androstachys subpeltatus (Sim) E. Phillips

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

The tree reaches a height of 30 m, with diameters from 50 to 80 cm. The bole is straight and cylindrical, up to 15 m in length.

Natural Habitat

Androstachys johnsonii is a gregarious species reported in mountainous areas along streams, frequently in pure stands.

Natural Distribution

Found in Southeast Africa.

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Wood Identification

Anatomic Description Of Wood

Wood diffuse porous. Vessels exclusively solitary (over 90%). Tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100 micras or less (very small). Brown-colored deposits in heartwood vessels. Vessels per mm2 more than 20 (very abundant). Simple perforation plates. Vessel-ray Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and/or vasicentric. Occasionally prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells and/or in fibers. 3 to 4 cells per parenchyma strand. 4 to 10 rays per mm (medium). Rays non-storied. Rays exclusively uniseriate. Homogeneous rays and/or sub-homogeneous rays (all ray cells procumbent). Non-septate fibers. Fibers with distinctly bordered pits.


Cites Status


General Wood Description


The sapwood is yellowish white. The heartwood is light brown to reddish brown, often with darker veining, it is not clearly demarcated.


Straight; grain has no particular influence on drying, machining and finishing qualities.


This wood has a somewhat fine texture.


This species is low in luster.

Natural Durability

Very durable to decay; without preservative treatment. This species is especially suited for all the uses with risks of permanent or long-lasting humidification. Resistant to termites attack. Heartwood is resistant to Lyctus attacks.

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


Resistance To Impregnation

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

Wood Physical Properties

Drying Defects

Ease of Drying: The rates of shrinkage are meddium, from green to 15% moisture content 1.4-2.1% radial and 2.0-3.7% tangential, from green to ovendry 3.9-4.4% radial and 5.3-6.3% tangential. Drying is moderately difficult. Drying Defects: Some drying defects such as end-checking, splitting, cupping and springing amy occur. Weghting down of stacks during air drying is recommended as this will reduce the tendency of the timber to warp and twist. Kiln Schedules: The rate of drying is rather similar to light red meranti: mild klin schedules are requasting in drying. In Malaysia klin schedule C is considered most suitable.

Recommended Dry Kiln Schedule


Wood Chemical Properties

Wood Mechanical Properties



Sawing of this species requires powerful equipment.

Rotary Veneer Cutting

Not suitable for veneering.

Sliced Veneer

Not suitable for veneering.

Blunting Effect

Slight blunting effect; ordinary tools can be used for sawing and machining.


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


Easy; no particular problems.


Easy; no particular problems.




Easy; no particular problems.


Easy; no particular problems.


Pre-boring is necessary.


Glues well if basic gluing technical rules are followed.


Easy to perform; it gives good results.


Can be polished without surface preparation.

Response To Hand Tools

Working with hand tools is difficult.


End Uses Summary

EXTERIOR GENERAL, poles, stakes posts, crossties, HOUSING GENERAL, parquet, TURNING, SPORTS, TOOLS, agricultural tools, CONTAINERS, truck bodies, truck flooring, OTHER AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, handicrafts, scale model

Exterior General
  • 1 - Tabela de resultados de ensaios fisicos e mecanicos
  • 3 - Estudo dendrologico e determinacao das caracteristicas fisicas e mecanicas do genipapo (Genipa americana)
Stake Posts
  • 5 - Propriedades fisicas e mecanicas da madeira e do contraplacado de Pinus elliottii
  • 8 - Maderas latinoamericas. III, Podocarpus standleyi ,Podocarpus oleifolius, Drims granadensis, Magnolia poasana y Didymopanax pittieri
General Housing
  • 10 - Silica in Timbers
  • 15 - Empire Timbers
  • 30 - Embassy of Honduras in Japan
  • 38 - Annual Review and Assessment of the World Timber Situation 1998-ITTO
  • 42 - Utilización Industrial de Nuevas Especies Forestales en el Perú.
Agricultural Tools
  • 44 - Atlas of Peruvian Woods
Truck Body
  • 53 - Timbers of the New World
Truck Flooring
  • 54 - Bulletin of the Government Forest Experiment Station N.157: Identification of Tropical Woods
Other & Musical Instruments
  • 63 - Madeiras do Brazil II
  • 66 - Maderas latinoamericanas. VII. Caracteristicas anatomicas. propiedades fisicomecanicas, de secado, y tratabilidad de la madera juvenil de Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav. Oken.)
Scale Models
  • 83 - Algunas caracteristicas fisicomecanicas de la madera de tres especies de la cordillera NeoVolcanica

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