Common Name(s): Mansonia
Scientific Name: Mansonia altissima
Distribution: West tropical Africa
Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 41 lbs/ft3 (660 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .54, .66
Janka Hardness: 1,290 lbf (5,740 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 16,600 lbf/in2 (114.5 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,570,000 lbf/in2 (10.83 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 7,800 lbf/in2 (53.8 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 4.4%, Tangential: 7.3%, Volumetric: 10.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a yellowish or grayish brown, with overall mostly bland figuring. Color tends to lighten and fade with exposure to light. Sapwood is yellow to nearly white, about 1 to 2 inches wide, and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.
Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, though occasionally interlocked. Texture is fine to medium and uniform, with slight natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, few to moderately numerous; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; growth rings sometimes visible due to marginal parenchyma; narrow to medium rays not visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates.
Rot Resistance: Mansonia is very durable in regards to decay resistance, and is also resistant to termite and insect attack. Mansonia has good outdoor weathering properties.
Workability: With the exception of the sawdust’s deleterious effects on health (see safety info), Mansonia is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. It glues, turns, and finishes well, and also has good steam bending properties.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Mansonia is on the short list as one of the worst wood species in terms of toxicity and commonness of allergic reactions. Mansonia has been reported as a sensitizer, and though the most usual reactions simply include eye and skin irritation, the wood dust can also produce a wide range of other effects, including nausea, giddiness, sneezing, headaches, nosebleeds, infected splinters, and asthma-like symptoms. Additionally, both the bark and heartwood have been found to contain cardiac poisons, which can cause heart disorders. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Most commonly available in veneer form, Mansonia can also occasionally be found in board form. Prices tend to be in the mid range for an imported tropical hardwood.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, cabinetry, furniture, boatbuilding, and turned objects.
Comments: Mansonia is sometimes used as an alternative for Walnut, though it is seldom seen in the United States.