CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval

DELTA Home

H. G. Richter, K. Gembruch, G. Koch

Khaya spp. (Khaya, African Mahogany)

Nomenclature. Family: MELIACEAE. Other trade relevant species: K. ivorensis, K. anthotheca, K. grandifoliola. Further trade and local names: Benin mahogany, Lagos mahogany (NG); Dubini-, Axim-, Accra-, Tacoradi mahogany (GH); n'gollon, n'dola, Kap Lopez mahogany (GA); Grand Bassam mahogany (CI); undianunu (AO); acajou d'Afrique (FR); African mahogany (GB); Khaya (US); Douala mahonie (NL). Code according to DIN EN 13556: KHXX. Internal code: KHA.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Not protected.

Geographic distribution. Tropical Africa. K. ivorensis: tropical regions of Central and West Africa; K. anthotheca, K. grandifoliola: tropical regions from West to East Africa.

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent (however, occasionally indicated by tangential clustering of smaller vessels). Heartwood basically brown to red; without streaks. Sapwood distinct from heartwood colour (creamy-white to yellowish, narrow). The heartwood darkens upon exposure to deep reddish-brown and the characteristic golden sheen found in True mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is less pronounced in Khaya. Odour indistinct or absent. Wood of medium weight (0,42–0,47–0,57 g/cm3). Interlocked grain present (zones of variable width producing an attractive ribbon figure on quarter-sawn material).

Hardwood vs softwood. Vessels (pores) present (= hardwood).

Vessels (pores). Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels (pores) arranged in no specific pattern; in multiples; commonly in short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessels large (110–160–245 µm); very few (2–3–7). Tyloses absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels (pores) present (dark reddish brown), or absent (in case sapwood is mistaken for heartwood).

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma not visible.

Rays. Rays narrow. Large rays commonly less than 1 mm high.

Storied structure. Storied structure absent.

Resin canals. Normal resin canals absent (traumatic axial resin canals occasionally present).

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown, or red. Ethanol extract fluorescent (yellowish); colourless to brown, or red. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to partial ash; colour of ash white to grey.

Additional information. Informationsdienst Holz Merkblatt Nr. 39. • kha.jpg. Khaya spp. (Khaya, African Mahogany). Transverse section ca. 10x. Radial surface, natural size.


The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., Gembruch, K., and Koch, G. 2014 onwards. CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, and Spanish. Version: 16th May 2014. delta-intkey.com’.

Contents