Reclaimed parquet flooring

Ekki (Lophira alata)

Ekki is one of the hardest and heaviest tropical hardwoods originating from West Africa. It grows in: Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, as well as Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The trade name is Ekki or Azobe as well as being the vernacular name of this tree in Nigeria. Other names are Red Ironwood or Ironpost which accurately reflects the hardness of the timber! Often used in heavy duty construction timber for example ships’ keels, marine posts, and in the construction of quays and pontoons.

Due to its strength Ekki was brought into Britain from Ghana from the 16th century. Also, after the First World War, it was exported in large quantities from West Africa to Europe.

The tree thrives in moist conditions, most especially along the banks of rivers. It also has a reputation as a pioneering species, flourishing in high rainfall areas. A very tall, deciduous tree up to  200 ft (60 m) with a trunk diameter of about 6ft ( 1.8 m) which would be a tree of over 150 years old. Ekki has been a highly exploited timber and is now classified as vulnerable in Cameroon.

Ekki Characteristics

This species is a hard, dense timber. It has a flat finish with little natural lustre and the colour will darken over time. Ekki is less stable in movement than some timbers, with a tendency to react to atmospheric changes.

The colour of the heart-wood is typically dark brown, and the sapwood is a little paler. The overall colour is a dark reddish brown and purple-brown. Also with a characteristic white or yellow flecked streaking. This looks very like paint splashes. These are mineral deposits which are conspicuous against the dark colour of the wood.

If you are interested in purchasing you will find this wood type here if we have it in stock. Or order a sample here.


Ekki close-up