Swartzia bannia is a shrub when growing in dry sand savannahs, developing into a large tree when growing in savannah forest[
]. The unbuttressed bole is deeply fluted, it can be unbranched for 6 - 10 metres[
The wood is one of the densest and strongest known. It is harvested from the wild for local use and for export.
Fine dust developed by machining operations may cause irritation to nose, throat and eyes[
Northern S. America - French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana.
Savannah forests and dry sand savannahs[
]. Savannah and dry evergreen formations and high forests[
|Other Uses Rating
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The bark is boiled with water and then drunk as a treatment for diarrhoea[
The heartwood is deep purple-brown, almost black; it is sharply demarcated from the yellow to light yellow-buff sapwood which is less than 25mm wide. The texture is very fine; moderately lustrous; grain interlocked, producing a prominent striped figure[
]. The wood is one of the densest and strongest known. It has outstanding hardness, compression parallel to the grain and shearing characteristics. It is difficult to saw and hard to work because of its extremely high density; very smooth surfaces are obtainable in sawing or planing; it bores cleanly and turns well; takes a high polish; pre-boring is essential for nailing and screwing. Very resistant to termites but liable to marine borer attack. Wearing characteristics are excellent it is highly resistant to shock[
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