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TALI (Erythrophleum suaveolens)

Trade Name


Scientific Name

Erythrophleum suaveolens Brenan



Common Names

Tali (Guinea); Alui (Côte d`Ivoire); Elondo (Spain); Elondo (Portugal); Elone (Gabon); N'kassa (Congo); Eloun (Cameroon); Muave (Zambia); Tsa; Teli; Telehi; Tehi; Talo; Tali y roble africano; Sassy bark; Sangay; Sahi; Sachi; Red water tree; Peli; Ovinyin; Orhue; Ordeal tree; Orachi; Oginyi; Oginni; Odiodi; Nko; Nkassa; Ngogbei; Ndom; Mumara; Mkola; Mkelekele; Mkarati; Meli; Mbele; Mbaraka; Manconi; Macone; Kwon; Kulenten; Kokudabo; Koe-kon; Kekeu; Keke-au; Kbande; Ka-kontha; Jru; Jallin baro; Ipomi; Inyin; Inyi; Ifwon; Idip; Gwaska; Guilutu; Guhie; Gue; Gogwi; Gbangba-gbende; Etsa; Erun obo; Erui-alui; Erui; Erue; Elun; Elui; Elon; Ellong; Elegue-muani; Digpende; Burene; Bungoro; Buirane; Buirame; Boutite; Bolondo; Betomo; Betiche; Bentabe; Baska; Baier; Atsa; Atiuhia; Atiemia; Arue; Alui; Akwir; Akpa etuidiwi; Akpa; Adjuga; Abawa; Aba; A-kon; Missanda (United Kingdom); Muave (Zaire); Mwavi (Tanzania); Missanda (Mozambique); Kassa (Zaire); N`kassa (Congo); Elondo (Equatorial Guinea); Eloun (Gabon); Elone (Cameroon); Sasswood (Nigeria); Erun (Nigeria); Potrodom (Ghana); Mancone (Guinea-Bissau); Gogbei (Sierra Leone); Tali (Senegal); Tali (Côte d`Ivoire)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Fillaea suaveolens Guill. & Perr.; Erythrophleum guineense G. Don

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

The tree is up to 30 to 45 in height, with a bole length of 10 to 16 m, usually irregular, often buttressed. The trunk diameter attains 100 to 150 cm.

Natural Habitat

Erythrophleum suaveolens occurs in moist forests, dense dry forests and along riverbanks.

Natural Distribution

West, Central and East Africa, mainly in Guinea, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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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). Vestured pits. Vessels per mm2 less than 6 (rare). Simple perforation plates. Vessel-ray pits similar to intervessel pits Paratracheal axial parenchyma scanty and/or vasicentric. Axial parenchyma aliform. Prismatic crystals in short chains in chambered axial parenchyma cells. 3 to 4 cells per parenchyma strand. Rays more than 10 per mm (abundant). Rays and/or axial elements irregularly storied. Rays 1 to 4 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 yellowish white to pinkish white, it has a thickness of 3 to 6 cm. The heartwood is yellow-brown to red brown, darkening on exposure, it is clearly demarcated.

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



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


The texture of the wood is frequently coarse.

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)


Internal Growth Stresses

No residual 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: 0.01

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 slow but without difficulties. Drying Defects: No particular risks of drying defects, subject to normal drying conditions. 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. It is recommended to use special tools for cutting.


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.


Difficult to obtain very good results because of interlocked grain.


Needs pre-coating.

Response To Hand Tools

Working with hand tools is difficult.


End Uses Summary

EXTERIOR GENERAL, bridges, poles, paling, stakes posts, crossarms, crossties, piers, HOUSING GENERAL, beams, joists, boards, flooring, parquet, frames, CONTAINERS, truck bodies, truck flooring

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