Sapele

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Sapele
Entandrophragma cylindricum
A sapele tree in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Entandrophragma
Species: E. cylindricum
Binomial name
Entandrophragma cylindricum
Harms

Entandrophragma cylindricum, commonly known as the sapele or sapelli (/səˈpl/ sə-PEE-lee), is a large tree native to tropical Africa. The tree is also known as aboudikro. There are protected populations and felling restrictions in place in various countries.

Description[edit]

Entandrophragma cylindricum grows to a height of up to 45 m high (rarely 60 m). The leaves are deciduous in the dry season, alternately arranged, pinnate, with 5-9 pairs of leaflets, each leaflet about 10 cm long. The flowers are produced in loose inflorescences when the tree is leafless, each flower about 5 mm diameter, with five yellowish petals. The fruit is a pendulous capsule about 10 cm long and 4 cm broad; when mature it splits into five sections to release the 15-20 seeds.

Uses[edit]

An array mbira made of sapele wood

The commercially important wood is reminiscent of mahogany, a member of the same family, with a distinctive figure, typically applied where figure is important. It has a density of 640 kg per cubic metre. It is most commonly used for flooring.

Among its more exotic uses is that in musical instruments. It is used for the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies, as well as the tops of electric guitar bodies. It is also used in manufacturing the neck piece of ukuleles and 26- and 36-string harps. In the late 90s, it started to be used as a board for Basque percussion instruments txalaparta.

The American car maker Cadillac uses sapele wood for interior wood trim on its vehicles.[1] The shower seat manufacturer Hudson Reed also use sapele wood for certain shower seats.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nichetimbers.co.uk. Accessed 20-08-2009.
  2. ^ Hudsonreed.com. Accessed 25-04-2012.

External links[edit]