Ilomba (Pycnanthus angolensis)

Ilomba is an imported hardwood


Ilomba (Pycnanthus angolensis) is a tree of the rainforest and ranges from Guinea and Sierra Leone through tropical West Africa to Uganda and Angola. Common names include pycnanthus, walele, and otie.


The wood is grayish white to pinkish brown and, in some trees, a uniform light brown. There is generally no distinction between heartwood and sapwood. The texture is medium to coarse, and the grain is generally straight. This species is generally similar to banak (Virola) but has a coarser texture. Air-dry density is about 512 kg/m3 (31 lb/ft3), and the wood is about as strong as yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Ilomba dries rapidly but is prone to collapse, warp, and splits. It is easily sawn and can be worked well with hand and machine tools. It is excellent for veneer and has good gluing and nailing characteristics. Green wood is subject to insect and fungal attack. Logs require rapid extraction and conversion to avoid degrade. Both sapwood and heartwood are permeable and can be treated with preservatives.

Primary Uses

In the United States, this species is used only in the form of plywood for general utility purposes. However, ilomba is definitely suited for furniture components, interior joinery, and general utility purposes.

*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.