Ekki, Azobe, Red Ironwood

Howard Gibbons Reclamation proudly stock a wide selection of reclaimed greenheart timber. From time to time we also source parcels of Ekki. Known also as Azobe or Red Ironwood (or its Latin name Lophira Alata), Ekki is one of the strongest woods available, but what is it? Where does it come from? And what uses does it have?


Hailing from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone the majority of Ekki found in Europe was brought to our shores by the Dutch.

Habitat and Ecology

Ekki is a pioneer species and grows in wet evergreen forest environments. Pioneer species of trees are recognised for being particularly hardy due to the fact that they have grown in a disrupted ecosystem.


Ekki is on the IUCN red list as ‘vulnerable’. Wet evergreen forests continue to experience large-scale destruction. Ekki grows slowly and with less than optimum conditions, and by being at constant risk of felling, its over exploitation is contributing to a dramatic decline in numbers. For this very reason, Howard Gibbons will only source sustainable and reclaimed Ekki.


Ekki is infamous for its supreme density and strength and classified as one of the strongest woods at D70 for density and bending. Often re-purposed for commercial and marine projects, this incredibly strong timber is ideal for bridges, groynes, railway sleepers, lock gates and piers. Being naturally resistant to pest and fungal attacks, Ekki does not require any chemical intervention to prolong its lifespan.


Ekki is exceptionally hard and requires specialist sawing. Howard Gibbons Reclamation offer a bespoke resawing service where we can cut Ekki to fit your project needs.

Images from Garness Rope Access