Vitex/New Guinea Teak (Vitex Cofassus) is a major commercial species of the Solomon Islands. A medium sized to large tree found throughout the South West Pacific region but of more common occurrence in the Solomon Islands.
- Vitex produces a beautiful olive-grey wood with an attractive banded or striped pattern on quarter-sawn faces. Often referred to as New Guinea teak, having similar properties and uses to that of teak (Tectona grandis), and belonging to the same family of Verbenaceae. Many trees are of relatively poor form, being heavily fluted in the bole, thus minimising sawn recovery. The wood is distinctly greasy to the touch.
- It is held in high esteem throughout the Solomons where it has been used for many years to make the large Kundu-type message drums, due to its magnificent acoustics and wearing ability.
- The timber seasons very slowly with little degrade and is extremely durable.
- An extremely popular timber, held in high regard for boat-building due to its durability, strength, excellent steam bending and working properties. Suitable for engineering, general construction, high quality joinery, flooring, decking, window sills, staircase materials and carving.