Triplochiton scleroxylon

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Triplochiton scleroxylon
Triplochiton scleroxylon K.Schum. (GH0301).jpg
Specimen collected in Kakum National Park, Ghana
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Triplochiton
T. scleroxylon
Binomial name
Triplochiton scleroxylon

Triplochiton scleroxylon is a tree of the genus Triplochiton of the family Malvaceae . The timber is known by the common names African whitewood, abachi, obeche (in Nigeria), wawa (in Ghana), ayous (in Cameroon) and sambawawa (in Ivory Coast).



The species is distributed over the tropical areas of West Africa and Central Africa. [2]


Workmen spraying the trunk of an Obeche tree with Gammaxene to protect it against timber-boring insects The National Archives UK - CO 1069-20-19.jpg
Workmen spraying the trunk of an Obeche tree with Gammaxene to protect it against timber-boring insects

The timber yielded is typically pale yellow and is moderately soft and light for a hardwood. [3]

Abachi wood Abachi.JPG
Abachi wood

The timber is used in the manufacture of veneer, furniture, picture frames and mouldings. It is also used by guitar makers. Gibson and Fender Japan have used the wood to produce limited edition guitars. [4] [5]

The tree is a host of the African silk moth, Anaphe venata , whose caterpillars feed on the leaves and spin cocoons which are then used to make silk. [6]

The wood is exploited in its natural habitat, a harvest that is unsustainable in some areas. However, it remains classed as 'least concern' on the IUCN Red List. [1]

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  1. 1 2 African Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Zimbabwe, July 1996). 1998. Triplochiton scleroxylon. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 24 July 2013.
  2. African Plant Database
  3. Wood Species Database: Obeche - TRADA
  4. Fender Japan JB75 in Ayus/Obeche -
  5. - Gibson Les Paul Jr Doublecut
  6. African whitewood (Triplochiton scleroxylon) - Reforet IITA