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Guibourtia demeusei - (Harms) J.L?onard

Common Name African Rosewood
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Periodically flooded and swampy forests; gallery forest, often in pure stands[328 ].
Range Western tropical Africa - Cameroon to the Central African Republic, south to the Congo.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Full sun
Guibourtia demeusei African Rosewood

Guibourtia demeusei African Rosewood
Eric Akouangou


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Guibourtia demeusei or commonly known as African Rosewood is a usually 40m tall tree with a dense crown and straight bole of up to 1 m in diameter. It is a source of Congo copal, a hard resin that is used to make varnishes and lacquers. The wood is of high quality and used for veneers, high class furniture, cabinet work, flooring, heavy carpentry, joinery, panelling, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Guibourtia demeusei is an evergreen Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Copaifera demeusei Harms Copaifera laurentii De Wild


Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Furniture  Lacquer  Varnish  Wood

Other Uses: A source of Congo copal, used for making varnishes and lacquers[46 ]. Copal is a hard resin, obtained from various tropical trees, that is used to make varnish[K ]. The heartwood is a pink or reddish brown with some fine, purplish-red veins and some brown veins; it is clearly demarcated from the 2 - 8cm wide band of whitish sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked, sometimes wavy; it has an unpleasant odour when first cut which disappears on drying. The wood is heavy to very heavy; hard to very hard; moderately to very elastic; durable, being resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is poorly stable in service. The wood has a high blunting effect - stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; care is needed when working with interlocked grains, but a good finish can be obtained; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct for internal purposes only and needs to be done with care because the wood is dry and smooth. The wood is very decorative and has some resemblance to rosewood; it is often used for veneers, and is also used to make high class furniture, cabinet work, turnery, flooring, stairs, heavy carpentry, joinery, panelling, railway sleepers etc[316 , 848 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[755 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Akume, Bubinga, Ebana, Essingang, Kevazingo, Kewazingo, Okweni, Ovang, Waka

Native Plant Search

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Gabon

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Guibourtia coleospermaBushman bean, Large false mopaneTree20.0 10-12 SLMNM222
Guibourtia copalliferaKobo Tree, Sierra Leone gum copalTree20.0 10-12 SLMNM014
Guibourtia pellegrianaAkume, Bubinga, WakaTree25.0 10-12 SLMHNM004
Guibourtia tessmanniiBubinga, KevazingoTree50.0 10-12 SLMHNM004

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Harms) J.L?onard

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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