Botanical Name

Entandrophragma Cylindricum

Other Common Names

Aboudikro, Penkwa, Muyovu, Sapelii, Libuyu


Ranging from the Ivory Coast to the Cameroons and eastward through Zaire to Uganda

The Tree

May reach a height of 150 to 200 ft; bole straight and cylindrical, clear to 100 ft; trunk diameters to 6 ft over broad, low buttresses, sometimes not buttressed. Occurs in evergreen, deciduous, and transitional forest formation.


Heartwood a medium to fairly dark reddish brown or purplish brown; sapwood whitish or pale yellow, distinct. Quartersawn demonstrates a ribbon appearance.


Texture rather fine; grain interlocked, sometimes wavy, producing a narrow, uniform, roe figure on quartered surfaces; lustrous; without a distinctive taste but with a cedar like scent.

Working Properties

Works fairly well with hand and machine tools, tends to tear interlocked grain in planing, saws easily, finishes well, good gluing and nailing properties, satisfactory peeling and slicing.


Furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small wooden specialty items.


Sapele is a commonly imported wood species both in lumber and veneer form. It is sometimes used as a substitute for Genuine Mahogany, and is sometimes referred to as “Sapele Mahogany,” though it bears no real relation to either Swietenia or Khaya genera.