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Mahogany, African

Mahogany, African (Khaya ivorensis)

Mahogany, African is an imported hardwood


The bulk of "African mahogany" shipped from west-central Africa is Khaya ivorensis, the most widely distributed and plentiful species of the genus found in the coastal belt of the so-called high forest. The closely allied species K. anthotheca has a more restricted range and is found farther inland in regions of lower rainfall but well within the area now being used for the export trade.


The heartwood varies from pale pink to dark reddish brown. The grain is frequently interlocked, and the texture is medium to coarse, comparable with that of American mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). The wood is easy to dry, but machining properties are rather variable. Nailing and gluing properties are good, and an excellent finish is readily obtained. The wood is easy to slice and peel. In decay resistance, African mahogany is generally rated as moderately durable, which is below the durability rating for American mahogany.

Primary Uses

Principal uses for African mahogany include furniture and cabinetwork, interior woodwork, boat construction, and veneer.