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Limba, White

Common Name(s): Limba, Black Limba, White Limba, Korina, Afara


This wood goes by a number of names, and historically has been called Afara or Korina, in addition to its now-prevalent moniker Limba.

Thicknesses

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 5-7 ft (1.5-2.2 m) trunk diameter

Distribution

Tropical western Africa

Scientific Name

Terminalia superba

Specific Gravity: Basic 12% MC

0.43

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.56

Janka Hardness

670 lbf (2,990 N)

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood is a light yellowish to golden brown, sometimes with grey to nearly black streaks and veins. Wood with such darker figuring is referred to as Black Limba, while plain unfigured wood is called White Limba. Sapwood is a pale greyish to yellowish brown, not clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Colour tends to darken with age.

Grain/Texture

Grain is straight to slightly interlocked, with a uniformly coarse texture. Moderate natural luster.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; tyloses and other heartwood deposits common; parenchyma vasicentric, winged, confluent, and sometimes banded; narrow rays, spacing fairly close.

Rot Resistance

Rated as non-durable, and also susceptible to insect attack.

Workability

Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Contains a small amount of silica, but blunting effect on cutters is usually small. Glues and finishes well.

Odor

Limba has a mild odor while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Limba has been reported to cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation, as well hives, asthma-like symptoms, and bleeding of the nose and gums. Splinters also tend to become infected and take longer than usual to heal.

Pricing/Availability

In relatively good supply and available in board and veneer form. Prices are moderate for an imported hardwood, though figured wood such as Black Limba is likely to be more expensive.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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