Letestua floribunda Lecomte
Pierreodendron durissimum A.Chev.
Letestua durissima is a tree that can grow up to 50 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be branchless for up to 40 metres and up to 240cm in diameter; the base is fluted or with steep buttresses[
The wood is highly valued for its denseness and durability, being used in heavy construction etc. It is commonly harvested from the wild and traded internationally on a small scale[
]. The tree also has local medicinal uses.
The sawdust can have an irritant effect[
West tropical Africa - Gabon, Congo.
|Other Uses Rating||
A bark decoction is a component of a traditional medicine against leprosy[
The heartwood is fairly dark red-brown, turning chestnut brown with age; it is distinctly demarcated from the 5 - 9cm wide band of pale brown sapwood. The grain is usually straight, but sometimes interlocked; the texture fine to medium. The wood is very heavy; very hard; strong; resilient; stiff; very durable, it is rarely attacked by termites, but must be treated to prevent marine borer attack; the sapwood is not susceptible to Lyctus borers. Shrinkage rates are high; drying is slow, with high risks of distortion and checking; the dried wood is fairly stable. The wood is slow and difficult to saw due to the high silica content, which leads to severe blunting, and an irritating dust is produced; it should be sawn as fresh as possible and stellite-tipped sawteeth are recommended; planing is relatively easy and gives a smooth surface; pre-boring for nailing and screwing is recommended to avoid splitting, but the wood holds nails well; it glues well, when done carefully. The wood is considered suitable for heavy construction and flooring, mine props, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, sporting goods, agricultural implements, musical instruments, precision equipment, joinery, sleepers, poles and piles, toys and novelties, and pattern making. The low saturation point makes the wood suitable for use in humid conditions such as mine work[
Seed - should be sown fresh, when the germination rate will often be virtually 100% within 7 - 30 days[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.