Mopane (Colophospermum mopane)
Mopane (Colophospermum mopane)

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Common Name(s): Mopane, Mopani

Scientific Name: Colophospermum mopane

Distribution: Southern Africa

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 67 lbs/ft3 (1,075 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .88, 1.08

Janka Hardness: 3,390 lbf (15,060 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 16,530 lbf/in2 (114.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,917,000 lbf/in2 (13.22 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 10,190 lbf/in2 (70.3 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.0%, Tangential: 5.2%, Volumetric: 9.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.3

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is medium to dark reddish brown, with black stripes. Color tends to darken with age. Well-defined sapwood is a pale yellow.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually interlocked. Fine uniform texture with a moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, few to moderately numerous; heartwood mineral/gum deposits common; parenchyma vasicentric, banded; narrow rays, spacing normal to fairly close.

Rot Resistance: Mopane is rated as very durable, and is also resistant to termites and powder post beetles.

Workability: Mopane is generally considered to be difficult to work, mainly on account of its incredibly high density. Machining has a severe blunting effect on cutters. Mopane is excellent for turned objects.

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 Mopane. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Likely to be somewhat expensive, exceeding the cost of most imported African hardwoods, with the exception of  the scarcer species such as Pink Ivory or African Blackwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, musical instruments (woodwind), turned objects, fuelwood/charcoal, furniture, inlay, and exterior construction.

Comments: Mopane is an often neglected and overlooked African hardwood, though its density and durability are virtually unrivaled. The wood is also said to have excellent acoustic properties, comparing similarly to African Blackwood—at a more economical price.

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:


Mopane (Colophospermum mopane)
Mopane (sanded)
Mopane (sealed)
Mopane (sealed)
Mopane (endgrain)
Mopane (endgrain)
Mopane (endgrain 10x)
Mopane (endgrain 10x)
Mopane (turned)
Mopane (turned)

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