Avodire (Turraeanthus africanus)
Avodire (Turraeanthus africanus)

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Common Name(s): Avodire

Scientific Name: Turraeanthus africanus

Distribution: Western and central regions of Africa, near lakes and streams

Tree Size: 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 36 lbs/ft3 (575 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .48, .58

Janka Hardness: 1,170 lbf (5,180 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 15,400 lbf/in2 (106.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,614,000 lbf/in2 (11.13 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,490 lbf/in2 (51.7 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 6.6%, Volumetric: 11.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.6

Color/Appearance: Pale yellow or cream, darkening with age to golden yellow. Heartwood and sapwood usually look the same.

Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight, wavy, or irregular and interlocked. Texture is fine, with a high natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and commonly in radial multiples of 2-3, few; yellowish deposits in heartwood pores common; growth rings indistinct; rays visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric.

Rot Resistance: Avodire is non-durable in regards to decay resistance, and is susceptible to insect attack.

Workability: Avodire is generally regarded as having good working characteristics, and is easy to work with hand or machine tools: though wood with interlocked grain can pose a challenge with tearout while being planed. The wood also has a slight blunting effect on tool cutters. Avodire glues and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Avodire has been reported to cause skin irritation, nosebleeds, internal bleeding, and asthma-like symptoms. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Avodire is commonly sold as a veneer for a moderate price, though boards are also available. Avodire lumber is likely to be in the medium price range for an imported hardwood, comparing similarly to other mid-range African timbers such as Padauk. Veneer or solid lumber with highly figured grain is likely to be much more expensive.

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: Veneer, cabinetry, furniture, millwork, and plywood.

Comments: Avodire can exhibit a range of grain patterns, such as wavy, mottled, and rippled, with an almost-shimmering chatoyance, making it a popular choice for veneering applications. The wood is stable, and has a very good strength-to-weight ratio. Avodire is similar in working properties to the true Mahoganies, and is somewhat related to them as both are in the Meliaceae family.

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Justin Holden for providing the wood sample (endgrain and quartersawn) of this wood species.

Avodire (sanded)
Avodire (sanded)

Avodire (sealed)
Avodire (sealed)

Avodire (endgrain)
Avodire (endgrain)

Avodire (endgrain 10x)
Avodire (endgrain 10x)

Avodire (quartersawn)
Avodire (quartersawn)

Avodire (23" x 5.1")
Avodire (23″ x 5.1″)
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Although a much tighter grain than oak, Avodire veneer can be made to resemble straight grain white oak to an extent, with a very light lime wash


We purchased a Danish-designed 10-place Avodire dining set with 10 padded chairs in 1987 in Accra. Apart from a few scuffs on 2 chairs and line scars on the table top (not on the removable leaf), the set is in excellent condition. No insect damage has occurred during many years in humid tropical climates.

I would like to know the name of the company and craftsmen who made this amazing and beautiful piece, if anyone knows.

Barb B

Would love to see a picture of your dining set. My kitchen cabinets are made of avodire veneer.


i will please appreciate updates on this wood.