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A hard striped wood obtained from Guibourtia tessmannii and Guibourtia demeusei trees found in western Africa. Bubinga, or African rosewood, has either a light red, brown or violet background with evenly spaced pink or purple stripes. It has a medium texture and polishes to a high gloss. Bubinga is a decorative wood that is used for furniture, cabinets, veneer, pianos, and decorative items (handles, brushes, boxes, etc.).


Synonyms and Related Terms

Guibourtia tessmannii; Guibourtia demeusei; benge; African rosewood; eban; kevazingo (Gabon); amazakoue (Ivory Coast); essingang, nomele, ovoga, ian, omebaba, ogbonele, owong, nsu, simingan (Cameroons);

Physical and Chemical Properties

Cut piece of African rosewood
  • Color: purplish or reddish brown with stripes or mottling.
  • Rings: distinct.
  • Pores: diffuse, fine.
  • Grain: faint.
  • Rays: distinct.
  • Hard, very heavy.
Density 50-57 ppcf
Molecular Weight specific gravity = 0.91

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Kribs, Commercial Foreign woods on the American market
  • H.L.Edlin, What Wood is That?, Viking Press, New York, 1969

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