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African mahogany is pink when first cut. Over time, it darkens to a reddish-brown, with streaks of pale, golden brown. The sapwood is yellowish-brown in color, and is not always distinctly demarcated from the heartwood. The grain is usually interlocked, giving the wood a distinctive fine grain. The texture is even, and ranges from medium to coarse, but even, with a lustrous surface.

Formal Name: Khaya ivorensis; K. anthotheca


African mahogany grows in lower rainfall regions in tropical West, Central and East Africa from Portuguese Guinea to Angola, and from the Sudan to Mozambique.

Working Properties

African mahogany works well, but tends to woolliness and torn grain. It produces a moderate blunting effect on tools, therefore, sharp thin cutting edges are recommended. It has good gluing properties and holds nails and screws well. It can be stained or polished to an excellent finish. It is easy to slice and peel, and makes excellent veneers.

Main Uses

African mahogany is widely used in furniture making and cabinetry, as well as office and bank fittings. It is also used in boat-building and interior joinery. It is a popular wood for plywood and other veneers.