Botanical Name

Mansonia altissima

Other Common Names

African black walnut, African walnut, Aprono, Bete, Koul




Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo

The Tree

The tree, which is usually buttressed, has a clear and straight bole with a diameter between 24 and 42 inches (60 and 100 cm), and a height from 100 to 120 feet (30 to 36 m).


The heartwood varies from yellow-brown to dark gray-brown to light mauve in color, and is often purplish with lighter or darker bands.


The grain is generally straight, but may be crossed. Texture is medium and even. The wood has a low to medium luster.

Working Properties

The wood has low resistance to sawing with little to medium blunting effect on cutters. The material is reported to plane readily to yield clean, smooth surfaces. Turning characteristics are rated as good. Gluing characteristics are reported to be good.


Boat building, Cabinetmaking, Decorative veneer, Furniture , Joinery, Marquetry, Musical instruments , Paneling , Specialty items, Turnery, Vehicle parts.


Mansonia is available in limited quantities in both the lumber and veneer forms. It is priced in the moderate range, but is more expensive than American black walnut.