Color/Appearance:Has a yellowish brown body with dramatic dark brown to almost black stripes. Color tends to darken with age. Also, the grain patterning can be quite striking, particularly onflatsawnareas. It’s not uncommon to see many “eyes” and other figuring in Bocote: though unlike knots, they do not seem to present any special challenges in machining.
Grain/Texture:Grain on most decorative pieces is usually figured in some way, and also tends to be interlocked, though pieces with plain and straight grain can also be found. Medium uniform texture and a naturally oily/waxy feel. Good natural luster.
Endgrain:Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, few; tyloses and other mineral deposits (yellow/brown) common; parenchyma varies slightly between species, but is generally banded (marginal), as well as vasicentric, aliform (lozenge), and confluent; medium to wide rays, spacing normal to wide.
Rot Resistance:Heartwood is rated from moderately durable to very durable depending on the species; it is susceptible to insect attack.
Workability:Some species may contain silica that will dull cutters. On the whole, Bocote is easily worked and machined with good results. Although Bocote has a fairly high amount of natural oils present, gluing is usually problem-free. (See the article ongluing oily tropical hardwoodsfor more information.) Bocote also turns and finishes well.
Odor:Bocote has a moderate scent when being worked that resembles dill pickles.