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WAMBA (Tessmannia africana)

Trade Name


Scientific Name

Tessmannia africana Harms



Common Names

Wamba (Zaire); Waka (Zaire); N'kara (Gabon); N'kagha (Gabon)

Scientific Name Synonyms

Tessmannia claessensii De Wild.

Description Of The Tree

Botanical Description

The tree reaches a height of 40 m. The bole is cylindrical, straight, varying from 9 to 25 m. No buttresses or butt swellings are reported. The trunk diameter attains 100 cm.

Natural Habitat

Tessmannia africana is found in dense equatorial forests, mainly as a dominant tree.

Natural Distribution

From Cameroon to the 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 100 to 150 micras (small). Vestured pits. Vessels per mm2 6 to 10 (medium). Simple perforation plates. Vessel-ray pits similar to intervessel pits in Axial parenchyma in marginal or in seemingly marginal bands. Axial parenchyma lozenge-aliform. Axial parenchyma aliform. 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. Larger rays more than 4 seriate. Body ray cells procumbent with one row of upright and/or square marginal cells (Kribs-III). Non-septate fibers. Fibers with simple to minutely bordered pits.


Cites Status


General Wood Description


The sapwood is pale-yellow or pink-grey, it has a thickness of 7.5 to 10 cm. The heartwood is pink, red-brown or dark brown. stripes are present. The color is variable, it is clearly demarcated.


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


The wood is frequently reported to be fine textured.


The surface of the wood is naturally low in luster.

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)


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: Non-refractory; green conversion and open stacking under cover recommended. Kiln-seasoning also suggested.

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

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.


Moderately easy; tools must be cautiously sharpened.


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.


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, FURNITURE AND CABINETS, TURNING, SPORTS, TOOLS, tool handles, agricultural tools, CONTAINERS, truck bodies, truck flooring, OTHER AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, handicrafts

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
Furniture Cabinets
  • 21 - Tropical timbers of the world. Part III-Southeast Asian and Oceanian Species.
  • 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.
Tool Handles
  • 43 - Maderas de Bolivia (Características y Usos de 55 Maderas Tropicales)
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
  • 66 - Maderas latinoamericanas. VII. Caracteristicas anatomicas. propiedades fisicomecanicas, de secado, y tratabilidad de la madera juvenil de Cordia alliodora (Ruiz & Pav. Oken.)

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