Color/Appearance:Heartwood ranges from a pinkish red to a darker reddish brown with darker purple or black streaks. Sapwood is a pale straw color and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Bubinga is very frequently seen with a variety of figure, including: pommele, flamed, waterfall, quilted, mottled, etc.
Grain/Texture:Grain is straight to interlocked. Has a uniform fine to medium texture and moderate natural luster.
Endgrain:Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings distinct due to marginal parenchyma; rays faintly visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric, aliform, confluent, and banded (marginal).
Rot Resistance:Ranges from moderately durable to very durable depending upon the the species. Bubinga is also reported to be resistant to termite and marine borer attack.
Workability:Easy to work overall, though depending upon the species Bubinga can have silica present, which can prematurely dull cutting edges. Also, on pieces with figured or interlocking grain, tearout can occur during planing or other machining operations.Gluing can occasionally be problematicdue to Bubinga’s high density and natural oils. Turns and finishes well.
Odor:Bubinga is reported to have an unpleasant scent when the lumber is still wet, which disappears after the wood is dry.
Pricing/Availability:Should be moderately priced for an import. Figured grain patterns such as waterfall, pommele, etc. are likely to be much more expensive.
Sustainability:Although Bubinga is not evaluated on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the three Guibourtia species yielding Bubinga are listed on CITES appendix II—which also includes finished products made of the wood.
Common Uses:Veneer, inlays, fine furniture, cabinetry, turnings, and other specialty items. Since Bubinga trees can grow so large, natural-edge slabs of the wood have also been used in tabletops and other specialized projects.