Letestua durissima - (A.Chev.) Lecomte
Common Name Kong-Afane, Congotali
Family Sapotaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The sawdust can have an irritant effect[299 ].
Habitats Primary rainforest[299 ].
Range West tropical Africa - Gabon, Congo.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun

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Letestua durissima is native to Gabon and Congo Republic. It is the only recognized species in the Letestua genus of the Sapotaceae family. It is a tree growing up to 50 m tall with straight and cylindrical trunk of up to 240 cm in diameter. The trunk can be branchless for up to 40 m and its base can be buttressed. While there is no known edible part of this plant, decoction of its bark is used in the treatment of leprosy. The plant is highly valued for its very hard, very durable, and strong wood ideal for heavy construction, flooring, boat building, agricultural implements, poles, etc.

Letestua durissima Kong-Afane, Congotali

Letestua durissima Kong-Afane, Congotali
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Letestua durissima is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Letestua floribunda Lecomte Pierreodendron durissimum A.Chev.

Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

A bark decoction is a component of a traditional medicine against leprosy[299 ].


Other Uses
Other Uses The heartwood is fairly dark red-brown, turning chestnut brown with age; it is distinctly demarcated from the 5 - 9cm wide band of pale brown sapwood. The grain is usually straight, but sometimes interlocked; the texture fine to medium. The wood is very heavy; very hard; strong; resilient; stiff; very durable, it is rarely attacked by termites, but must be treated to prevent marine borer attack; the sapwood is not susceptible to Lyctus borers. Shrinkage rates are high; drying is slow, with high risks of distortion and checking; the dried wood is fairly stable. The wood is slow and difficult to saw due to the high silica content, which leads to severe blunting, and an irritating dust is produced; it should be sawn as fresh as possible and stellite-tipped sawteeth are recommended; planing is relatively easy and gives a smooth surface; pre-boring for nailing and screwing is recommended to avoid splitting, but the wood holds nails well; it glues well, when done carefully. The wood is considered suitable for heavy construction and flooring, mine props, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, sporting goods, agricultural implements, musical instruments, precision equipment, joinery, sleepers, poles and piles, toys and novelties, and pattern making. The low saturation point makes the wood suitable for use in humid conditions such as mine work[299 , 848 ]..
Cultivation details
Not Known
Seed - should be sown fresh, when the germination rate will often be virtually 100% within 7 - 30 days[299 ].
Other Names
Kong-Afane (Gabon); Congotali (Congo)
Found In
Congo; Gabon
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants


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(A.Chev.) Lecomte
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Letestua durissima  

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