Walnut, African


Walnut, African



Density in kg/m3

The Tree
It is a tall tree reaching 36m to 39m in height, 1.2m diameter having a cylindrical bole with a small buttressed or fluted base. Frequently has a clean bole of 18m or more.

The Timber
It is of a golden brown colour, marked with black streaks (caused by secretory tissue or 'gum lines'), which have given it the name 'walnut'. When planed the surface is distinctly lustrous The sapwood is narrow, buff or light brown in colour and normally sharply defined from the heartwood, although a narrow transitional area is sometimes seen. It has usually interlocked grain, giving a marked 'stripe' when cut on the quarter. It averages about 560 kg/m3 when dried.

Its drying properties are fairly good, although existing shakes may extend slightly and some distortion occur.

For its weight the strength of the timber is good, and is equal to American black walnut in hardness and in compression along the grain.

Working Qualities
Medium - It works fairly easily with most tools, but tends to pick up on quarter sawn stock due to interlocked grain, and a cutting angle of 15: should be used. Hand turning needs care, and sharp tools to avoid tearing; in the same way drills need to be sharp or the fibres will tend to tear out at the bottom of the drill hole. The timber is fairly easy to nail, but with some tendency to split. An excellent finish can be obtained by sanding and scraping and when filled, a fine finish can be produced.

Latin Name
Lovoa trichilioides, Syn. Lovoa klaineana

Also known as
African walnut, dibitou, noyer do Gabon, cyan, dilolo (France), apopo, sida (Nigeria), bombolu (Zaire), lovoawood, tigerwood, alonawood, Congowood (USA)

Wood Type

Extremely difficult



Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroons, Zaire, Gabon