Albizia (Albizia ferruginea)
Albizia (Albizia ferruginea)

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Common Name(s): Albizia, Tanga Tanga

Scientific Name: Albizia spp. (A. ferruginea, A. versicolor)

Distribution: Tropical Africa

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3 (605 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .60

Janka Hardness: 1,020 lbf (4,530 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 11,990 lbf/in2 (82.7 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,581,000 lbf/in2 (10.91 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,160 lbf/in2 (49.4 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.7%, Tangential: 4.6%, Volumetric: 7.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.7

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is golden brown, frequently with bands of lighter and darker colored wood. Contrasting sapwood is pale yellow. Color tends to darken with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually interlocked. With a coarse texture an good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; yellowish deposits occasionally present; parenchyma vasicentric, lozenge, confluent, and marginal; narrow to medium rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable; poor insect resistance.

Workability: Moderately easy to work, though interlocked grain can cause tearout during surfacing operations. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Albizia has been reported to cause eye and respiratory irritation, as well as other effects, such as: nausea, pink eye, giddiness, and nose bleeds. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Not commonly available, veneer, solid lumber, and smaller craft blanks are occasionally made available. Expect prices to be in the mid range for an imported hardwood, with figured boards and veneer costing more.

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.

Common Uses: Furniture, veneer, and turned objects.

Comments: Much like the related species from Asia, Albizia ferruginea and related species from tropical Africa have  lustrous golden brown wood. However, with this beauty is a caution: the wood can be among the most irritating and inflaming to mucous membranes, and care should be taken whenever airborne sawdust is generated from the wood. Sometimes known as Tanga Tanga.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

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

Albizia (Albizia ferruginea)
Albizia (sanded)

Albizia (sealed)
Albizia (sealed)

Albizia (endgrain)
Albizia (endgrain)

Albizia (endgrain 10x)
Albizia (endgrain 10x)
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