Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata)

Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata)

View More Images Below

Common Name(s): Afrormosia, Afromosia, African Teak

Scientific Name: Pericopsis elata

Distribution: West Africa

Tree Size: 100-150 ft (30-46 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 45 lbs/ft3 (725 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .57, .72

Janka Hardness: 1,570 lbf (6,980 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 14,920 lbf/in2 (102.9 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,715,000 lbf/in2 (11.83 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,570 lbf/in2 (66.0 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.2%, Tangential: 6.2%, Volumetric: 9.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.9

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is typically a yellowish brown, occasion will have an either reddish or olive hue. Color tends to darken with age. Narrow sapwood is pale yellow and is clearly differentiated from the heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, though it can also be interlocked. With a fine uniform texture and good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; small to medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits occasionally present; growth rings may be distinct due to seemingly marginal parenchyma; rays not visible without lens; paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged or lozenge), and frequently confluent.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable regarding decay resistance, and is also resistant to termites and other insects.

Workability: In nearly all regards, Afrormosia is easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though surfacing boards with interlocking grain may cause tearout. Other downsides include a slight blunting effect on cutting edges, and the development  of dark stains if left in contact with iron in damp conditions. Afrormosia turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: Afrormosia has a distinct odor while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Afrormosia has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Afrormosia has also been known to cause nervous system effects, asthma-like symptoms, as well as splinters having an increased chance of getting infected. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Trade of this species is currently tightly controlled. It’s usually available as lumber in good sizes. Prices are medium to high for an imported African hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is in CITES Appendix II, and is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as endangered due to a population reduction of over 50% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Boatbuilding, veneer, flooring, and furniture.

Comments: Along with Iroko, Afrormosia is sometimes referred to as “African Teak,” though it is not closely related to genuine Teak (Tectona grandis). Afrormosia does look somewhat similar to Teak, has similar working and mechanical properties, and is extremely durable in outdoor applications; for these reasons, it’s used with a fair degree of success as a substitute for Teak.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Justin Holden for providing the wood sample of this wood species.

Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata)

Afrormosia (sanded)

Afrormosia (sealed)

Afrormosia (sealed)

Afrormosia (endgrain)

Afrormosia (endgrain)

Afrormosia (endgrain 10x)

Afrormosia (endgrain 10x)

Afrormosia (curly)

Afrormosia (curly)



  1. RON KLEBBA October 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    i am curious if Afrormosia will turn the silver gray color when exposed to natural weathering conditions as Teak does?

    • Eric October 19, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

      As far as I know, just about every wood eventually turns gray when exposed to the elements.

  2. David May 28, 2018 at 6:20 am - Reply

    I hung quite a few doors made of afromosia in Coventry cathedral in late 60s , early 70s, I’ve got an oilstone box made of Afromosia, lovely timber.

  3. April 18, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    can I make a bow out of afromosia?

  4. Ali Sadaqat March 9, 2015 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I’m building my new home this year 2015. I’m looking for advise that can i use Afrormosia for my doors in indoor and outdoor. I want to know should it behave good of shrinkage and termite resistant?
    Looking for your advise..

  5. John Gillespie August 4, 2013 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Around 1964/65 I was an apprentice Carpenter and Joiner working in a woodworking machine shop and was involved with the manufacture of large (approx 4m square) multi sectioned window frames designed for a Hospital complex, – and all made from Afrormosia.
    Being the 1960’s PPE was unheard of and dust masks or respiratory equipment just weren’t issued!
    I experienced a reaction to working with this wood after a while and this manifested itself in the form of my body becoming covered in very itchy blotches and with any splinters or ‘skelfs’ which penetrated the skin, (No gloves in those days while handling the wood either!), became septic very quickly!
    Oral medication prescribed by my Doctor and the application of cream/ lotion to the skin blotches in conjunction with reduced working with and exposure to the wood, dust, etc. cleared this up after a while.
    A not so pleasent experience though.
    Would be interested to know if any others have experienced similar problems with this wood as I seemed to be the only one in the woodworking shop affected at that time!

    • James Pritchard May 28, 2018 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      I started my carpenter and joiner apprenticeship in 1962. We used aformosa but I did not get any reaction from it or from any other timber.
      I agree, not any health and safety in those days except, for what is sadly lacking these days, common sense and the wrath of the foreman if he did not approve of what you were doing,

  6. omoty July 25, 2013 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Pls have u heard about the name ‘ebelebe’. Its d name they call a particular wood in Kogi state. Can someone help me with other names they call it. Thanks

  7. Eric July 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    I can’t comment on *where* each of these common names are from, but I found these names in use to represent Afrormosia:
    Anyeran, Asamela, Assamela, Assemela, Awawai, Ayin, Baracara, Bohala, Bohalala, Bonsamdua, Devils tree, Egbi, Ejen, Jatobahy do igapo, Kokriki, Kokrodua, Mekoe, Mohole, Obang, Ole, Olel Pardo, Peonio, Tento, Wahala

  8. Lawal Ademola July 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I want to know if the local name for afromosia is Ayin in d western part of Nigeria

  9. Jman March 7, 2013 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Be very careful when working with this wood. Particularly sanding. Wear a mask. I first hand experienced why you should do this. You do not! This will affect people differently however it is not pleasant whatsoever if you end up being as sensitive to its toxicity as I was. Overall you will be OK as long as you wear respiratory protection and work with it OUTSIDE no matter how small a project.

  10. Segun May 5, 2012 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Am work on afrormosia elata i need information on d silvicultural treatment

  11. Anthony Ojedokun March 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    I’m working on Afrormosia as my project right.pls helpme out with informations.

  12. Wahab January 31, 2011 at 3:09 am - Reply

    I wanna use Afromosia elata as project

Leave A Comment