FSC 100% African lignum vitae

African lignum vitae (Acacia nigrescens) is one of the hardest known woods and the species shares many qualities and woodworking characteristics with true lignum vitae from South America.

FSC African lignum vitae logs and marked ends

African lignum vitae is ideally suited to applications where durability and impact resistance are valued such as industrial flooring and specialist construction including marine and decking.

African lignum vitae technical specification

The knobs found on young African lignum vitae trees have given rise to the species being sometimes referred to as Knobthorn, a rather uninspiring name for a tree with such extraordinary characteristics – note that the knobs fall off the bark as the tree matures.

African lignum vitae processing images

FSC African lignum vitae grain measurement WP

FSC Tanzanian hardwoods Density - hardness chart 3 WP

As well being virtually identical to lignum vitae, the species shares many qualities and woodworking characteristics with other commonly traded species including:

  • Ipe (Tabebuia spp. / Handroanthus spp.);
  • Ekki (Lophira alata);
  • Greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei / Ocotea rodiaei);
  • Camuru (Dipteryx odorata).

However, African lignum vitae is considerably harder than ipe, ekki, greenheart and cumaru.

FSC Tanzanian hardwoods Qualities chart 3 WP

African lignum vitae and lignum vitae are also identical in woodworking qualities, making them a very closely matched species overall.

African lignum vitae also shares the same woodworking characteristics with greenheart and cumaru.

Whilst it shares durability and machining characteristics with ipe and ekki, its degree of stability lies in between that of the two species.

FSC African lignum vitae standing tree

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