Afzelia africana

Source:  Youtube

Source: Youtube

NAME: Afzelia africana

FAMILY: Leguminosae

COMMON NAMES: Apa, pod mahogany, African oak, African mahogany, counter wood

LOCAL NAMES: Apa-Igbo, Apa, kawo, Akpalata, Bilinga, Afzelia, Kilar

USEFUL PART(s): Root, leaves, stem-bark, seeds


  • Young leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable
  • Fruit is edible but has a poisonous seed
  •  Dried seedpods are used as musical instruments
  • The wood is used for fuel and for making charcoal
  • The wood is use for ship building, construction, cabinetwork etc.


  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Uganda
  • Togo
  • Benin
  • Mali
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Ivory Coast


Afzelia africana medicinal values include:

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Stomach disorders
  • Hernia
  • Lumbago
  • Febrifuge
  • Antiemetic
  • Backache
  • Malaria
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis


  • Afzelia Africana improves the soil
  • Fix  Nitrogen in the soil


  • The African mahogany is a large, deciduous tree and it is usually exported to Europe
  • The seeds are poisonous


Amusa, T. O. (2011). Effects of three pre-treatment techniques on dormancy and germination of seeds of Afzelia africana (Sm. Ex pers). Journal of Horticulture and Forestry, 3(4), 96–103. Retrieved from

Assogbadjo, A. E., Mensah, S., & Kakaï, R. G. (2017). The relative importance of climatic gradient versus human disturbance in determining population structure of Afzelia africana in the Republic of Benin§. Southern Forests, 79(2), 125–132.

Donkpegan, A. S. L., Doucet, J.-L., Dainou, K., & Hardy, O. J. (2015). Microsatellite development and flow cytometry in the African tree genus Afzelia (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) reveal a polyploid complex. Applications in Plant Sciences, 3(1), 1400097.

Martins, E., Omoyeme, I., Christiana, I., Ofoefule, S., & Olobayo, K. (2009). Isolation, characterzation and compaction properties of Afzelia africana gum exudates in hydrochlorothiazide tablet formulations. . African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 3(5), 265–272. Retrieved from pdf2009/May/Martins et al.pdf

Mensah, S., Houéhanou, T. D., Assogbadjo, A. E., Anyomi, K. A., Ouedraogo, A., & Kakaï, R. G. (2016). Latitudinal variation in the woody species diversity of afzelia africana sm. Habitats in West Africa. Tropical Ecology, 57(4), 717–726.

Ogbu, I. M., & Ajiwe, V. I. E. (2016). FTIR studies of thermal stability of the oils and methyl esters from Afzelia africana and Hura crepitans seeds. Renewable Energy, 96, 203–208.

Oyedemi, O. O., Adewusi, E. A., Aiyegoro, O. A., & Akinpelu, D. A. (2011). Antidiabetic and haematological effect of aqueous extract of stem bark of Afzelia africana (Smith) on streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar rats. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 1(5), 353–358.

Sotannde, O. A., Oluwadare, A. O., Ogedoh, O., & Adeogun, P. F. (2012). Evaluation of cement-bonded particle board produced from Afzelia africana wood residues. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 7(6), 732–743.