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Obeche is creamy-white to pale straw color with no demarcation between the sapwood and heartwood. It is a light wood with a moderately fine and even texture. In large logs, wood from the center of the log is inclined to be brittle (brittleheart). The grain is usually interlocked, which provides a faint stripe on quarter-sawn wood.

Formal Name: Triplochiton scleroxylon

Other Names: Wawa, Arere, Ayous, Samba


Obeche grows throughout West and Central Africa in a zone from Guinea east to the Central African Republic, and south to Gabon and the Congo.

Working Properties

Obeche has very low stiffness and resistance to shock, with moderate to poor steam-bending properties. This light wood is very easy to work with hand and power tools, with only a slight blunting effect on cutters. Obeche takes glue well and nails easily, but has poor holding characteristics. It requires slight filling to obtain a high-grade finish. Once filled, it stains and polishes well and also takes paint well with normal primers.

Main Uses

Obeche is often rotary cut into constructional veneer for plywood core stock purposes and as a backing veneer. It is used extensively where durability and strength are unimportant, in applications such as drawer slides, interior rails and cabinet framing. Some logs are sliced for decorative veneer.