Botanical Name

Pterocarpus Soyauxii

Other Common Names

African Padauk, Bosulu, Mbe, Mbil, Ngula, Vermillion


Central and tropical west Africa


Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Zaire

The Tree

A straight, well shaped tree. Reaches 100 feet with a buttressed trunk which may be 48'' at breast height.


Heartwood color can vary, ranging from a pale pinkish orange to a deep brownish red. Most pieces tend to start reddish orange when freshly cut, darkening substantially over time to a reddish/purplish brown. Padauks initial orange coloration can be preserved through various finishing procedures.


Texture coarse; grain straight to interlocked; lustrous; faint aromatic scent when freshly cut. Sawdust may cause respiratory problems.

Working Properties

Saws well but requires slow feed, easy to machine but with some tearing of interlocked grain, takes a good finish, glues easily and holds nails and screws satisfactorily.


Fine joinery, fancy turnery, carvings, flooring, decorative veneer, tool and knife handles.


Can be difficult to find, moderately priced compared to other imports.