African teak (Pericopsis elata)

Also known as: Afrormosia, Assamela, Kokrodua
Synonyms: Afrormosia elata
KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderFabales
FamilyLeguminosae
GenusPericopsis (1)
SizeMaximum height: 50 m (2)
Diameter: up to 2m (2)

The African teak is classified as Endangered (EN A1cd) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1), and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

Resembling other teaks, the African teak has brown, green or yellow-brown bark and a straight grain (4). Growing to 50 m, this tree has buttresses up to 3 m, and the trunk is clear of foliage for the first 25 – 30 m (3).

Found in central and west Africa (1).

The African teak is found only in dry areas of semi-deciduous forests (1).

The timber from this tree is used for boat building, joinery, flooring and decorative veneers (3). Despite its endangered status, it is still considered a suitable alternative to other threatened teaks within the timber industry.

The trade in the timber from this tree has soared since 1948, and the degree of exploitation has long been unsustainable across its range. The habitat has been lost and now regeneration is insufficient to replace lost populations (1). Illegal logging continues to decimate the remaining populations (2).

Urgent regulation of logging is necessary, including the employment of Forestry Stewardship Council regulations on harvesting. In Ghana some enrichment planting is being practised, where suitable areas with low numbers of African teak are planted with African teak seedlings, but conservation of current populations is a priority (2).

For further information on this species see:

For more information on the Forestry Stewardship Council see:
http://www.fsc.org/

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2004)
    http://www.redlist.org
  2. Global Trees Campaign (May, 2010)
    http://www.globaltrees.org/tp_pericopsis.htm
  3. CITES (November, 2004)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. University of Hamburg (November, 2004)
    http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/wood/english/pappeela.htm