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Opepe (Nauclea diderrichii)

Opepe is an imported hardwood


Opepe (Nauclea diderrichii) is widely distributed in Africa from Sierra Leone to the Congo region and eastward to Uganda. It is often found in pure stands.


The orange or golden yellow heartwood darkens on exposure to air and is clearly defined from the whitish or pale yellow sapwood. The texture is rather coarse, and the grain is usually interlocked or irregular. The density of air-dried wood (752 kg/m3 (47 lb/ft3)) is about the same as that of true hickory (Carya), but strength properties are somewhat lower. Quartersawn stock dries rapidly with little checking or warp, but flat-sawn lumber may develop considerable degrade. The wood works moderately well with hand and machine tools. It also glues and finishes satisfactorily. The heartwood is rated as very resistant to decay and moderately resistant to termite attacks. The sapwood is permeable to preservatives, but the heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment.

Primary Uses

Opepe is a general construction wood that is used in dock and marine work, boat building, railroad crossties, flooring, and furniture.