Common Name(s): Obeche

Scientific Name: Triplochiton scleroxylon

Distribution: Tropical West Africa

obeche 600 x 600.jpg

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a pale yellow, with the sapwood not clearly differentiated from the heartwood. Colors darken slightly with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture and good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; parenchyma vasicentric, diffuse-in-aggregates; narrow to wide rays, spacing normal.

Workability: Generally easy to work, though the interlocked grain can cause some rough surfaces in some machining operations. Carves, stains, glues, and finishes well.

Pricing/Availability: Lumber is sometimes available, though it’s primarily exported as veneer or plywood. Obeche is relatively inexpensive for an imported hardwood. 

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, carvings, furniture, and interior millwork.

Comments: This African hardwood is very soft and lightweight, but has a decent strength-to-weight ratio. It’s fairly stable in service, and its bland grain patterns are frequently stained a darker color.