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Pericopsis elata - (Harms) Meeuwen

Common Name African-teak, golden afrormosia, kokrodua
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Wood dust may cause irritation to the nose, throat and eyes[299 ].
Habitats Semi-deciduous forest, especially in swampy and flat, disturbed localities[299 ].
Range West tropical Africa - Cote D'Ivoire to the Central African Republic, south to Dr Congo.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Pericopsis elata African-teak, golden afrormosia, kokrodua

Pericopsis elata African-teak, golden afrormosia, kokrodua


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Pericopsis elata or commonly known in various name such as African teak, afromosia, and afrormosia is a tall, deciduous, flowering tree native to African forests. It grows about 50 m tall and up to 130 cm in trunk diameter. The trunk is often straight, cylindrical, and blunt buttressed. There is no known edible part of this plant. Several plant parts, however, are used medicinally such as the bark, leaves, and wood. The wood is highly valued as material for making furniture, veneer, joinery, construction, agricultural implements, musical instruments, toys, etc. It is considered as one of the four most important timbers in Congo.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Pericopsis elata is a TREE growing to 40 m (131ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Afrormosia elata Harms

Plant Habitats

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.
Anodyne  Antibiotic  Hypoglycaemic  Malaria  Parasiticide

The pulped bark is rubbed into scarifications as an anodyne[299 ]. Methanol extracts of the leaves showed moderate in-vitro antiplasmodial activity against multi-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum[299 ]. The wood contains stilbene derivatives with antibiotic, antimalarial and blood-sugar reducing properties[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Furniture  Parasiticide  Wood

Other Uses The heartwood is yellowish brown to greenish brown with darker streaks, turning dark brown upon exposure; it is fairly distinctly demarcated from the up to 3cm wide band of pale yellow-brown sapwood. The texture is moderately fine; the grain is straight, sometimes interlocked. The wood is moderately heavy; hard; very durable, but may occasionally be attacked by marine borers. It seasons slowly, with only a slight risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is moderately to poorly stable in service, It saws and works well with both hand and machine tools, although the blunting effect is fairly high and stellite-tipped saw teeth and tungsten-carbide-tipped cutting tools are recommended; it has a smooth finish; usually planes well, but sometimes with a slight picking up due to the presence of interlocked grain; it polishes satisfactorily, but the use of a filler is recommended; it is liable to splitting when nailed, but it holds nails and screws well; gluing does not pose problems when it is done carefully to prevent staining; the bending properties are moderate; it turns satisfactorily. Under moist conditions, the wood often stains dark where it is in contact with iron. The wood resembles that of teak, though it lacks the oily texture, and is highly valued on the international market. It is used mainly for high grade furniture and as decorative veneer, but also for interior and exterior joinery, stairs, flooring and boat building. It is also suitable for heavy and light construction, railway sleepers, vehicle bodies, interior trim, handles, ladders, agricultural implements, sporting goods, musical instruments, toys, novelties, boxes, crates, carvings, turnery and draining boards[299 , 848 ].

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 26 - 35°c, but can tolerate 20 - 40°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 1,300mm, but tolerates 750 - 1,500mm[418 ]. Grows best in a sunny position[418 ]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils, preferring one of low fertility[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7, tolerating 6 - 8[418 ]. Initial growth may be rapid in suitable conditions, with 7 year old trees 8 metres tall with a bole diameter of 9cm and 16 year old trees 26 metres tall[299 ]. Plantation trials in Cote d'Ivoire showed growth rates up to 20cm in bole diameter in 20 years[299 ]. Seedlings are usually found close to mother trees, up to a distance of 35 metres, indicating that the non-dehiscing pods are spread over only short distances, although they may occasionally be spread over longer distances by strong winds[299 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - germination of fresh seed is very rapid, usually within 8 days, both in deep forest shade and in the dappled shade of small gaps in the forest, but the seedlings only develop in the gaps and die in the deep shade[299 ]. In full sunlight the germination rate is very low, only about 5%[299 ]. Localities where seedlings receive full sunlight in the morning but which are shaded from direct midday sun have been recorded as ideal for seedling growth[299 ]. The seedlings are remarkably drought tolerant and can be found on wet as well as dry forest soils[299 ]. Sowing tests showed that seedlings grow best when the seeds have been covered with 15mm of soil[299 ]. In experiments, propagation by stem cuttings showed good results[299 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

African-teak, golden afrormosia, kokrodua, afrormosia - French, assamela - French, assamela - Portuguese, afrormosia - Swedish.

Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Nigeria

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 : Status: Endangered A1cd

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Pericopsis angolensisEast African afrormosiaTree15.0 10-12 FLMHNM024

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.


Expert comment


(Harms) Meeuwen

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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Subject : Pericopsis elata  
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