Iroko is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa that can live up to 500 years.
The tree is known as ìrókò, logo or loko and is believed to have supernatural properties. It is one of the woods sometimes referred to as African teak, although it is unrelated to the teak family. The wood colour is initially yellow but darkens to a richer copper brown over time.
It’s beautiful appearance makes it the perfect material to use for many architectural and interior elements. If you want to add up to the design of your home, you can integrate wood in your facade, ceilings, wall features, fences, furniture, doors, etc. Its a stable and lasting material that is recommended for all external areas as well.
- Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with color tending to darken over time. Pale yellow sapwood is clearly
demarcated from the heartwood.
- Grain Texture: Iroko has a medium to coarse texture, with open pores and an interlocked grain.
- Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement,
very few to few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses common; growth
rings indistinct; medium rays visible without lens, spacing wide to normal.
- Rot Resistance: Iroko is very durable, and is resistant to both rot and insect
attack; it’s sometimes used as a substitute for Teak.
- Workability: Generally easy to work, with the exception of its interlocked grain,
which may cause some tearout during surfacing operations. Also, deposits of
calcium carbonate are sometimes present, which can have a significant dulling
effect on cutters. Iroko glues and finishes well.
- Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Iroko has
been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include
eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Iroko can also cause other health effects in
sensitive individuals, such as asthma-like symptoms, boils, and hypersensitivity
- Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
- Common uses: Veneer, flooring, furniture, cabinetry, boatbuilding, turned items, and other small specialty wood items.
Given the high prices of genuine Teak, Iroko could be considered a low-cost
alternative. The wood is stable, durable, and has an overall look that somewhat