We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Entandrophragma - (Welw.) C.DC.

Common Name Tiama Mahogany
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Most commonly found in moist semi-deciduous forest, though it can also be found in evergreen forest. It occurs in lowland and mid-altitude rainforest, but sometimes also in gallery forest and thickets, at elevations up to 1,800 metres[ 299 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Guinea and Sierra Leone, east to Sudan, south to Angola and Kenya.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Entandrophragma Tiama Mahogany

Entandrophragma Tiama Mahogany


Translate this page:


Entandrophragma angolense or commonly known as Tiama Mahogany is a tropical, deciduous buttressed tree growing up to 50 m in height with 5 m trunk diameter. It has an open crown and smooth, pale grey bark that flakes off. The flowers are white to yellow in colour. The fruit is a capsule. The bark is used medicinally against fever, stomach pain, peptic ulcers, ear ache, arthritic or rheumatic pain, swellings, ophthalmia, etc. The tree is often planted as shade tree in banana, coffee and tea plantations. The wood is light, moderately soft, moderately durable, and resistant to dry wood borers. It is suitable for veneer production and is highly valued for light construction, musical instruments, toys, boxes, crates, and novelties among others. It can also be used as firewood and for charcoal production.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Entandrophragma is a deciduous Tree growing to 50 m (164ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Entandrophragma candolleanum De Wild. & T.Durand Entandrophragma congoense (Pierre ex De Wild.) A.Ch

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible portion: Seeds. No other information available.

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.

The bark is used in traditional medicine[ 299 ]. A decoction is drunk to treat fever[ 299 ]. The bark is also used, usually in external applications, as an anodyne against stomach-ache and peptic ulcers, earache, and kidney, rheumatic or arthritic pains[ 299 ]. It is also applied externally to treat ophthalmia, swellings and ulcers[ 299 ]. Methanol extracts of the bark have shown dose-dependent inhibitory effects on gastric ulcers[ 299 ]. The triterpenoid methyl angolensate, isolated from the bark, exerted inhibition of gastric ulceration and smooth muscle activity, and reduced the propulsive action of the gastrointestinal tract[ 299 ]. Methyl angolensate has shown sedative activity[ 299 ]. Bark extracts have shown moderate antiplasmodial activity; the compounds 7_-obacunylacetate and 24-methylenecycloartenol exhibited pronounced activity against chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum[ 299 ]. Tirucallane triterpenes have been isolated from a leaf extract[ 299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is planted as roadside tree, and occasionally as a shade tree in banana, coffee and tea plantations[ 299 ]. Other Uses: Shavings of the wood, combined with rice husks, have been processed in a pressure vessel in the presence of aqueous sodium sulphide to produce a brilliant yellow dye of reasonable fastness to light and alkaline wash on cotton fabrics[ 299 ]. The heartwood is pale pinkish brown to pale reddish brown, slightly darkening upon exposure to deep reddish brown, with golden shades; it is distinctly demarcated from the 6 - 10cm wide band of creamy white to pale pinkish sapwood. The grain is interlocked, texture moderately coarse and fairly even. The wood is light in weight; moderately soft; moderately durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, liable to powder-post beetle, pinhole borer and marine borer attacks and with variable resistance to termites. It air dries somewhat slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is moderately stable to stable in service. The wood saws and works easily with both hand and machine tools; it has only moderate blunting effects on cutting edges. Drilling, mortising and turning properties are all satisfactory. The wood is not liable to splitting in nailing and screwing, with good holding properties. The gluing, staining and polishing properties are good, but the steam bending properties are poor. The wood is suitable for veneer production. The wood is highly valued for exterior and interior joinery, furniture, cabinet work, veneer and plywood, and is also used for flooring, interior trim, panelling, stairs, ship building, vehicle bodies and coffins. It is suitable for light construction, musical instruments, toys, novelties, boxes, crates, carvings and turnery[ 299 , 848 ]. Wood that is not suitable as timber is used as firewood and for charcoal production[ 299 ]. The seeds have a fat content of about 60%. The fat is rich in cis-vaccenic acid, an oleic acid isomer that can be used in the industrial production of nylon-11. The approximate fatty acid composition of samples of the oil from Ghana and Nigeria is: palmitic acid 4 - 6%, palmitoleic acid 11 - 16%, hexadecadienoic acid 3 - 5%, stearic acid 10 - 15%, oleic acid 2 - 3%, vaccenic acid 32 - 43%, linoleic acid 11 - 15% and arachidic acid 1 - 2%. Tests with tadpoles showed that the seeds contain toxic compounds, probably limonoids.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the moist tropics at low to moderate elevations of up to 1,800 metres[ 299 ]. It grows best in areas where the average rainfall is 1,600 - 1,800mm, growing less well when rainfall exceeds 2,300mm[ 299 ]. Strongly prefers well-drained localities with good water-holding capacity[ 299 ]. Young plants require shade, but after the seedling stage they should be gradually exposed to more light[ 299 ]. Natural regeneration is often scarce in natural forest, but logging operations that create gaps may promote regeneration. In natural forest, saplings are most common in gaps[ 299 ]. Tests with seedlings showed that growth was good under conditions simulating the light conditions in small forest gaps, and that growth was still fair under the light conditions of medium-sized gaps. The seedlings performed poorly under full-light conditions[ 299 ]. Under optimal conditions seedlings grow fairly fast, about 1 metre per year during the first two years, exceptionally up to 2 metres per year[ 299 ]. Striplings may reach 6 metres tall 4 years after planting[ 299 ]. Larger trees show average annual diameter increments of 2 - 6.5 mm, with highest increment in the diameter class of 50 - 70 cm when the crown reached the forest canopy[ 299 ]. It has been estimated that it takes nearly 140 years for a planted tree to reach 100 cm bole diameter[ 299 ]. Trees start fruit production at larger diameters, and this has implications for forest management; harvesting trees of less than 50 cm bole diameter seriously reduces fruit production[ 299 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - pre-soaking in warm water for one night is reported to speed up germination[ 299 ]. Seeds should be placed in seed beds with the wing pointing upward and threequarters of the seed (without wing) buried. When sown fresh, the seed may have a high germination rate of more than 75%, but the germination rate decreases to about 25% after 3 weeks storage in open air[ 299 ]. Germination of fresh seeds starts 1 week after sowing, but germination of seeds stored for 10 - 15 days may take 30 - 45 days[ 299 ]. Overhead shade is required for young seedlings[ 299 ]. Seeds can be stored for some time in sealed containers in a cool place, but insect damage, to which they are very susceptible, should be avoided, e.g. By adding ash[ 299 ]. It is recommended to plant out young trees under a light cover of a young secondary forest or in enrichment lines in forest paths[ 299 ]. It is possible to plant in full sun on exceptionally fertile soils or on dead termite nests but the mortality may be as high as 50% after some years[ 299 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Edinam, Tiama,

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

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

Angola; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Liberia; Nigeria; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda, Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Uganda, West Africa,

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: Vulnerable A1cd

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Entandrophragma angolenseTiama MahoganyTree50.0 10-12 SLMHSNM124
Entandrophragma candolleiWest African CedarTree50.0 10-12 SLMHNM024
Entandrophragma cylindricumSapele MahoganyTree50.0 10-12 SLMHSNM024
Entandrophragma utileSipo MahoganyTree45.0 10-12 SLMHNM024

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


(Welw.) C.DC.

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.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Entandrophragma  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.