Black Limba (Frake)

[Terminalia superba]

Native to tropical West Africa, this exotic species has historically been known as Afara, Korina, or Frake. And, today, it’s sometimes simply referred to as Limba.

By any name, it’s one of the most beautifully figured hardwoods in the world. Its heartwood is a light yellowish to golden brown, sometimes with grey to nearly black streaks and veins — and it’s that darker figuring that distinguishes it as “Black Limba.” Whereas, when it’s plain and unfigured, it’s referred to as “White Limba.” Either way, the pale greyish to yellowish brown sapwood usually doesn’t create a clear demarcation. The grain of Black Limba varies from straight to slightly interlocked, with a uniformly coarse texture and a moderate, natural luster.

Because of its striking appearance, Black Limba is often used in furniture, butcher block, and musical instruments like guitars. But its beauty truly comes to life in veneer, architectural plywood, and cabinet applications.

Species Distribution:

Tropical Western Africa
West Africa
Sierre Leone

Common / Alternative Names:

White Limba

Janka Hardness:

670 lbf

Sustainability Status:

CITES Appendices: Not listed
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Not listed

Related Species:

Idigbo (Terminalia ivorensis)
Indian Laurel (Terminalia elliptica)
Indian Silver Greywood (Terminalia bialata)
Nargusta (Terminalia amazonia)

See It In Use