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Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa)


A wood produced from the Chlorophor excelsa tree native to Africa. Iroko is a medium weight wood with an open-grain texture. The color is a brown with yellow streaks. Iroko has been used for structures, ship building, cabinets, and furniture.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Chlorophor excelsa; mvule; African teak; iroko (Fr.); câmbala (Port.)


  • Susceptible to wood borers.
  • Skin contact may cause irritation.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Heartwood is yellow to golden with dolor darkening over time; sapwood is a clearly paler yellow
  • Grain is interlocked with open pores and a medium to coarse texture
  • Wood is durable and sometimes used as a substitute for teak
  • Density = 41 ppcf

Working Properties

  • Generally easy to work, with the exception of its interlocked grain, which may cause some tearout during surfacing operations
  • Deposits of calcium carbonate are sometimes present, which can have a significant dulling effect on cutters
  • Glues and finishes well.

Resources and Citations

  • F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965 Comment: 41 ppcf
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=61 ppcf (0.98 g/cm3)

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