Color/Appearance:Heartwood is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with color tending to darken over time. Pale yellow sapwood is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.
Grain/Texture:Iroko has a medium to coarse texture, with open pores and an interlocked grain.
Endgrain:Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few to few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses common; growth rings indistinct; medium rays visible without lens, spacing wide to normal; parenchyma banded, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged and lozenge), and confluent.
Rot Resistance:Iroko is very durable, and is resistant to both rot and insect attack; it’s sometimes used as a substitute forTeak.
Workability:Generally easy to work, with the exception of its interlocked grain, which may cause some tearout during surfacing operations. Also, deposits of calcium carbonate are sometimes present, which can have a significant dulling effect on cutters. Iroko glues and finishes well.
Allergies/Toxicity:Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Iroko has been reported as asensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Iroko can also cause other health effects in sensitive individuals, such as asthma-like symptoms, boils, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. See the articlesWood Allergies and ToxicityandWood Dust Safetyfor more information.
Pricing/Availability:Iroko is imported and available for a moderate price. Veneer can also be seen for sale, and is likewise affordably priced.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
Common Uses:Veneer, flooring, furniture, cabinetry, boatbuilding, turned items, and other small specialty wood items.