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Iroko

Common Name(s): Iroko


Given the high prices of genuine Teak, Iroko could be considered a low-cost alternative. The wood is stable, durable, and has an overall look that somewhat resembles Teak.

Thicknesses

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Distribution

Tropical Africa

Scientific Name

Milicia excelsa, M. regia (syn. Chlorophora excelsa, C. regia)

Specific Gravity: Basic 

0.55

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.66

Janka Hardness

1,260 lbf (5,610 N)

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with colour tending to darken over time. Pale yellow sapwood is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.

Grain/Texture

Iroko has a medium to coarse texture, with open pores and an interlocked grain.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few to few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses common; growth rings indistinct; medium rays visible without lens, spacing wide to normal; parenchyma banded, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged and lozenge), and confluent.

Rot Resistance

Iroko is very durable, and is resistant to both rot and insect attack; it’s sometimes used as a substitute for Teak.

Workability

Generally easy to work, with the exception of its interlocked grain, which may cause some tearout during surfacing operations. Also, deposits of calcium carbonate are sometimes present, which can have a significant dulling effect on cutters. Iroko glues and finishes well.

Odor

No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Iroko has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Iroko can also cause other health effects in sensitive individuals, such as asthma-like symptoms, boils, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Pricing/Availability

Iroko is imported and available for a moderate price. Veneer can also be seen for sale, and is likewise affordably priced.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
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