African Mahogany

Botanical Name

Khaya Spp.

Other Common Names

Akuk, Benin mahogany, Bisselon, Bitehi, Diala iri, Eri Kiree, Khaya mahogany, Ogwango, Senegal mahogany



The Tree

The tree is reported to reach heights of 110 to 140 feet, with trunk diameters of up to 6 feet. The tree usually develops straight, well-formed boles that measure about 40 to 80 feet above strong buttresses that are reported to be up to 8 feet high.


Heartwood is a reddish brown, also exhibiting an optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy.


The grain is typically interlocked, but is sometimes straight. Interlocked grain usually produces a striped or roey figure on quartersawn surfaces. Swirl and crotch figures are also reported to be common.

Working Properties

Easy to work, glue, and finish. Tearout can sometimes be a problem if the grain is interlocked.


Plywood, turned items, furniture, boat-building, and interior trim.


Usually moderately priced considering the lumber is consider an exotic wood species. African Mahogany in the Khaya genus is considered to be a valid substitute for Honduran Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla).