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Zebrawood is known for its highly figured heartwood. The heartwood is straw-like in color and distinctively marked with narrow veining or “streaks” of color ranging from dark brown to almost black. These streaks give the heartwood a zebra-stripe appearance. The sapwood is whitish in color, and virtually without feature. The wavy, interlocked grain produces a ribbon figure. The texture ranges from medium to coarse and has a high luster surface.

Formal Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis

Other Names: African Zebrawood, Zebrano


Zebrawood is a tropical African hardwood that grows in Gabon, the Cameroon Republic, and the Congo.

Working Properties

Since the wavy grain of zebrawood produces both hard- and soft-grained materials, it can be relatively hard to work. It is easy to saw, once seasoned. A slight to moderate blunting effect is experienced on most tools. The wood turns well, and has good sanding and gluing properties, although pre-boring may be necessary for to nailing. zebrawood can be varnished or polished to a beautiful finish.

Main Uses

The decorative nature of this highly figured wood makes it a popular wood for high quality veneers. Quarter-sliced veneers are used for furniture inlays, cross banding and marquetry. It is also used to produce decorative millwork.