open main page for all woods          open page 2 for articles

NOTE: there is rarely any "standard" or "typical" look for a wood so take what's in this table with a grain of salt
the REST of the pictures on this page will give you a better overall feel for this wood

iroko / Milicia excelsa
(syn. s Chlorophora excelsa, Milicia africana, Morus excelsa)

Also sometimes called "African teak"

5" x 5" flat cut, 5" x 5" quartersawn, 1" wide end grain, and a 1/4" x 1/4" end grain closeup.

Diffuse porous with large, sparse, randomly distributed pores with fat lozenge shaped aliform parenchyma that sometimes spreads out to winged aliform parenchyma. Considerable confluence, some diffuse-in-aggregates parenchyma that occasionally appears banded, and some pore multiples. Rays that are obvious at 10X but growth rings that are vague.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions

iroko exposure series --- both sides are raw and half has been covered and the rest exposed to light. The first pic is the raw baseline and the 2nd pic shows the exposure after one month. To see the complete series, click here: iroko exposure series As you can see just from these two shots, iroko darkens with age. Because of the yellow tint, there is some inconsistency in the color due to lighting and color correction, not the exposure, but the effects of exposure are quite clear.

both sides of a sample plank of --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above

NOT a raw wood color
flooring sample of iroko (also listed as kambala) --- it has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent

the piece directly above, after I sanded off the finish --- this was a very thin plywood layer, so I can't get an end grain shot

NOT a raw wood color

NOT a raw wood color
two flooring samples that have been finished with a hard, shiny, finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color

the same two pieces as above but with the finish sanded off

sample piece and end grain sold to me as iroko / Chlorophora excelsa (a synonym of Milicia excelsa)

end grain closeup of the sample piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

plank and end grain --- for a smaller plank cut-off the same large plank as this one was, see directly below

plank and end grain

end grain closeup (upside down) and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

two sides of the same plank of mottled iroko cut in half and with one end flipped showing that one side shows a patina and the other is the raw wood (probably was up against another plank and not exposed to light or air)

closeup of the two plank sections directly above

angled face grain shot of the plank above showing how the interlocked grain caused significant tearout by the planer

both sides of a small plank cut from the larger one above --- the yellow/green face has been sanded down but I left the patina untouched on the other side.

side grain of the plank directly above

end grain and end grain closeup of the plank directly above --- I don't know if it's a change in color over time or if I just did a HORRIBLE job of color correction, but when I did the update below I notice that the color on this piece is NOT what is shown above but more like what's in the update below.

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

both sides of a sample plank of iroko / Milicia excelsa --- HUGE enlargements are present. This was cut from the plank diretly above. the darker colors are because the plank sat in my garage for many years. The difference in color between the two sides is because (1) I just fine sanded the first face and (2) as you can see in the pic of the whole plank above, one side already had a deep patina

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

plank and end grain. The vendor who sold this to me is normally reliable but he had this listed as partridgewood and I had it one the panga panga page for years before correspondent Steve Earis pointed out to me that it is iroko (thanks Steve). I bought it before I was really into wood anatomy or I would have noticed myself that it clearly is not partridgewood/panga panga.

end grain and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above

face grain and face grain closeup of the same piece as above, showing an unusual pattern due to this piece being perfectly flat cut and the grain hitting the face at a particular angle. The side of this piece looks exactly like what the face grain of iroko normally looks like

veneer, all with accurate color

veneer sheet half moistened with mineral oil

web pics:


planks listed as iroko / Cholorophora excelsa

plank with the kind of ridiculous color that was my main reason for starting this web site in the first place

planks; the one on the left was moistened for the pic and the difference shows nicely how a finishing agent will bring out the color in this wood

plank, specifically listed as Milicia excelsa, with the lower portion moistened

scales --- I am doubtful about the bright color

turning stock

turning stock with color that is probably too rich

bowl blank

listed as iroko plank but that seems highly unlikely --- looks to me like sucupira with poor color correction but could be something else


quartersawn veneer listed as iroko / Chlorophora spp.

veneer specifically listed as Chlorophora excelsa

veneer sheets and closeup

Iroko flooring --- HUGE enlargements are present

winged bowl

goblet by Steve Earis

16" platter by Steve Earis. Thanks to Steve's excellent photograhy, very large enlargements are present.