Baphia nitida

African sandalwood (Baphia nitida).jpg
Scientific classification
B. nitida
Binomial name
Baphia nitida
Baphia nitida distribution.svg
The distribution of Baphia nitida.
  • Baphia angolensis sensu Lester-Garland
  • Baphia barombiensis Taub.
  • Baphia haematoxylon (Schum. & Thonn.) Hooker f.
  • Carpolobia versicolor G. Don
  • Delaria pyrifolia Desv.
  • Podalyria haematoxylon Schum. & Thonn.

Baphia nitida, also known as camwood, barwood, and African sandalwood (although not a true sandalwood), is a shrubby, leguminous, hard-wooded tree from central west Africa. It is a small understorey, evergreen tree, often planted in villages, and known as osun in Yoruba.

The wood is of a very fine colour, and is used in woodturning for making knife handles and similar articles. The tree's bark and heartwood are commonly used to make a brilliant but non-permanent red dye, which is soluble in alkali.

Pterocarpin is a pterocarpan found in B. nitida.[2]

Osun (camwood) extract is also used in some soaps and skin treatments, although there are no published studies about its efficacy or safety.


  1. ^ Soladoye MO (1985). "A revision of Baphia (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae)". Kew Bulletin. 40 (2): 291–386. doi:10.2307/4108263. JSTOR 4108263.
  2. ^ "Pterocarpin at knapsack_jsp". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2013-02-05.

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