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Entandrophragma candollei - Harms

Common Name West African Cedar
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Most commonly found in moist semi-deciduous forest, particularly in regions with an annual rainfall of about 1,800 mm[ 299 ]. It can also be found in evergreen forest[ 299 ].
Range Western tropical Africa - Liberia to Zaire and Angola.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Entandrophragma candollei West African Cedar
Entandrophragma candollei West African Cedar
Jean-Pierre Chéreau & Roger Culos


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Entandrophragma candollei or West African Cedar is a deciduous large tree growing about 50 m in height. It is slow growing with usually straight and cylindrical bole of up to 4 m in diameter. It is often buttressed and can be branches for up to 30 m. The bark is used in traditional medicine particularly as an anodyne and for snake bites. The wood is used in production of sliced veneer, for construction, joinery, boat building, furniture, cabinet work, flooring, plywood, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Entandrophragma candollei is a deciduous Tree growing to 50 m (164ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Entandrophragma choriandrum Harms Entandrophragma ferrugineum A.Chev.


Edible Uses

None known

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 ]. The sap of the bark is applied externally as an anodyne[ 299 ]. The sap of the root bark is applied to snakebites[ 299 ]. The limonoids prieurianin and epoxyprieurianin have been isolated from the bark. These compounds and their acetates exhibited strong antifeedant activity against the gram pod borer Helicoverpa armigera[ 299 ]. Atomasin A and atomasin B are other limonoids that have been isolated. The first compound showed moderate in-vitro inhibitory activity against chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum[ 299 ]. The triterpenoid methyl angolensate has been isolated from the roots[ 299 ].

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Other Uses

Other Uses: The heartwood is dull brown to dark purplish brown, slightly darkening upon exposure; it is distinctly demarcated from the 4 - 8cm wide band of greyish white to pale brown sapwood. The grain is straight to slightly interlocked; the texture coarse and even. The wood is moderately heavy; soft to moderately hard; it is moderately durable, being susceptible to powder-post beetle, pinhole borer and marine borer attacks, moderately resistant to termites and fungi, and resistant to dry wood borers. It seasons somewhat slowly with a high risk of distortion; once dry it is stable in service. The wood saws fairly easily although it requires some power, and it works easily with both hand and machine tools. It usually contains silica (up to 0.5%) and has moderate blunting effects on cutting edges; stellite-tipped saw teeth and tungsten-carbide cutting edges are recommended. In planing and moulding operations a 15 - 20? cutting angle is recommended, especially when interlocked grain is present. It can be finished to a nice surface, but the use of a filler may be required. The wood is not liable to splitting on nailing and screwing, and has good holding properties. The gluing, staining and polishing properties are good when a filler is used. The wood is suitable for the production of sliced veneer. The wood is used for construction, exterior and interior joinery, boat building, furniture, cabinet work, high class furniture, veneer and plywood. It is suitable for flooring, interior trim, vehicle bodies, toys, novelties, boxes, crates and turnery[ 299 , 848 ].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the moist tropics, found mainly in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the region of 1,800mm[ 299 ]. Under natural conditions, an average annual diameter increment of 5.1 mm has been recorded[ 299 ]. In plantations in Guinea trees reached a mean height of 2.7 metres after 6 years[ 299 ]. Trees start fruit production at larger bole diameters, and this has implications for forest management; harvesting trees of less than 50 cm bole diameter seriously reduces fruit production[ 299 ]. Trees can become very old; for the largest specimens ages of up to nearly 1000 years have been suggested[ 299 ].

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Seed - fresh seeds start to germinate 1 week after sowing and the germination rate is 60 - 75%[ 299 ]. Seedling growth is slow, with a plant height of 13 cm after 5 months and 20 - 30 cm after 1 year. Seedlings are very sensitive to sun-scald and have to stay under permanent shade in the nursery[ 299 ]. For at least 2 - 3 years after being planted out the seedlings need slight shade to avoid high mortality, for example by a cover of a young secondary forest[ 299 ]. Natural regeneration is often scarce in natural forest, but gaps created by logging operations may promote regeneration. In natural forest, saplings are most common in gaps[ 299 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

West African Cedar

Found In

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

Angola; Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; 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: Vulnerable A1cd

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Entandrophragma angolenseTiama MahoganyTree50.0 10-12 SLMHSNM124
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.


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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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