Color/Appearance:Heartwood is a light yellowish to golden brown, sometimes with grey to nearly black streaks and veins. Wood with such darker figuring is referred to as Black Limba, while plain unfigured wood is called White Limba. Sapwood is a pale greyish to yellowish brown, not clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Color tends to darken with age.
Grain/Texture:Grain is straight to slightly interlocked, with a uniformly coarse texture. Moderate natural luster.
Endgrain:Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; tyloses and other heartwood deposits common; parenchyma vasicentric, winged, confluent, and sometimes banded; narrow rays, spacing fairly close.
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable, and also susceptible to insect attack.
Workability:Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Contains a small amount of silica, but blunting effect on cutters is usually small. Glues and finishes well.
Allergies/Toxicity:Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Limba has been reported to cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation, as well hives, asthma-like symptoms, and bleeding of the nose and gums. Splinters also tend to become infected and take longer than usual to heal. See the articlesWood Allergies and ToxicityandWood Dust Safetyfor more information.
Pricing/Availability:In relatively good supply and available in board and veneer form. Prices are moderate for an imported hardwood, though figured wood such as Black Limba is likely to be more expensive.
Sustainability:This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses:Veneer, plywood, furniture, musical instruments (electric guitar bodies), and turned objects.