April 2008


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In the Classified page, there is an ad for Mbawa Khaya Nyasica wood. I did some reseach. Here is what I found.

A large to very large tree (up to 200' tall) that occurs in evergreen and riverine fringe forest at medium to low altitudes. Its natural distribution extends from east and central Africa southwards as far as Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The trunks of large specimens are very straight and branches only develop high up on the trunk. The trunks of large trees also develop buttresses. The leaves are dark, glossy green on their upper surface. The white, sweetly scented flowers are inconspicuous.

The heartwood is distinctly pink when freshly sawn, but when seasoned varies in color from light pinkish-brown to a deep reddish shade; the yellowish-brown sapwood is not always clearly demarcated.

The grain is usually interlocked and the texture is of a coarser nature than that of American mahogany. The quality varies with the locality of growth; some localities are said to produce coarse-textured logs with spongy hearts while others are noted for the fine texture and character of their timber. Khaya nyasica from East Africa inclines to a reddish or golden-brown-shade.

African mahogany is an important timber for furniture and indoor decoration. It takes a high polish and a good finish.

Mark Rand