Pterocarpus soyauxii, the African padauk or African coralwood, is a species of Pterocarpus in the family Fabaceae, native to central and tropical west Africa, from Nigeria east to Congo-Kinshasa and south to Angola.
It is a tree growing to 27–34 m tall, with a trunk diameter up to 1 m with flaky reddish-grey bark. The leaves are pinnate, with 11–13 leaflets. The flowers are produced in panicles. The fruit is a thorny pod 6–9 cm long, which does not split open at maturity.
The wood is valuable; it is very durable, red at first, becoming purplish-brown on exposure to light, with a density of 0.79 g/cm³. It is resistant to termites. It is valued for making drums in Africa due to its tonal resonance. The wood is also favored for its use in stringed instruments (namely acoustic and electric guitars) for its tonal attributes and durability.
Native African names include Kisese (Congo), Mbel (Cameroon), Mukula, N'gula (Zaire), and Tacula (Angola).
- International Legume Database & Information Service: Pterocarpus soyauxii
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Pterocarpus soyauxii
- World Agroforestry Centre: Pterocarpus soyauxii
- CIRAD Forestry Department: Padouk (pdf file)
- Kiec-Swierczynska, M., Krecisz, B., Swierczynska-Machura, D., Palczynski, C. (2004). Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by padauk wood (Pterocarpus soyauxii Taub.). Contact Dermatitis 50 (6): 384-385.