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.
Principal uses for African mahogany include furniture and cabinetwork, interior woodwork, boat construction, and veneer.
*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.