Common Name(s): Lati, White Wenge, Yaya
Scientific Name: Amphimas pterocarpoides
Distribution: Western and central Africa
Tree Size: 100-150 ft (30-46 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 49 lbs/ft3 (785 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .58, .78
Janka Hardness: 1,200 lbf (5,340 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 18,460 lbf/in2 (127.3 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,147,000 lbf/in2 (14.81 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 9,070 lbf/in2 (62.5 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 6.2%, Tangential: 10.6%, Volumetric: 16.8%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light yellowish brown. Yellowish sapwood isn’t always defined from heartwood. Lati is sometimes called White Wenge because of the similarity of its grain patterns to Wenge, particularly on flatsawn surfaces (in both cases, this is due to very wide bands of parenchyma throughout the wood). The pale yellowish color tends to darken to a more golden yellow over time.
Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniformly coarse texture. Low natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; parenchyma in very wide bands; medium-width rays, spacing normal.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to moderately durable; susceptible to most insect attacks, though moderately resistant to termites.
Workability: Generally easy to work with hand and machine tools. Glues and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Lati. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Not commonly seen or imported, Lati is occasionally offered for sale as lumber or veneer. Expect prices to be moderate for an imported hardwood.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, interior trim, furniture, and flooring.
Comments: Generally not regarded as being very stable in service, which is aggravated by the fact that the flatsawn (and least stable) surface is considered the most decorative and showy. Nonetheless, flatsawn Lati has a unique grain appearance that is very similar to Wenge, though in a golden yellow color rather than a dark brown. (Lati and Wenge are in two separate genera—Amphimas and Millettia, respectively—and aren’t closely related.)
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Justin Holden for providing the wood sample of this wood species.