African Blackwood

 

Dalbergia melanoxylon, called M'phingwe in the local Sena Language but more commonly know by it Portuguese name Pau Preto in Mozambique. Also know as Zebrawood.

 
 
 Herbarium Sample

Herbarium Sample

 Wood sample

Wood sample

Tree

A straggling tree, 5 to 7 m in height, occasionally taller. Fairly common although scattered at medium to low altitudes in mixed woodland.

Source - Tress of Southern Africa - Keith Coaetes Palgrave and Meg Coates Palgrave 

 

Timber

The heartwood is very dark black to a purplish heartwood, the sapwood is strongly contrasting. It is close grained and very heavy but due to the small size of the trees, larger pieces of the timber are difficult to recover. Weighing 1,200Kg's per M3 at a SG of 12% it is extremely durable but takes a fine finish and varnishes and oils well.  Sharps tools are required. It is used in musical instruments, turning and carving.  Africans often use the timber to make arrow tips. A preparation made from the roots is used to relieve toothache.