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Zebrawood Microberlinis brazzavillensis

It should come as no surprise that what is known as zebrano in Europe has come to be called zebrawood in the United States. The light, dark and medium brown stripes are largely straight on quartersawn sides, but often beautifully wavy on crown-cut faces or edges. Unfortunately, the lines vary in density as well as color, and the interlocking grain makes working awkward.

Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Zebrano (Europe)
Related species M. bisulcata Alternatives Beli (Paraberlinia bifoliolata)
Sources West Africa
Color Dark brown-black lines interspersed with light and medium brown bands
Texture Moderately coarse and not particularly even
Grain Looks straight, but often interlocking and wavy
Hardness Varies between light and dark bands
Weight Medium to heavy (46 lb./cu. ft.) (740 kg/cu. m)
Strength Good
Seasoning and stability Can distort and check, but stable once seasoned.
Wastage Low
Range of board widths Variable
Range of board thicknesses Depends on stock, which is likely to be limited.
Durability Good

The most common use for zebrawood is as a quartersawn veneer to display the straight lines. Make sure you keep the veneer weighted down, as it has a tendency to buckle.

Zebrawood has been listed as potentially vulnerable by IUCN. Using zebrawood veneer is at least more efficient than using the wood in the solid, especially if you can fix it to a core made from a certified lumber.


Fairly easy to obtain from specialist dealers in exotic hardwoods, but stock is likely to be limited in width and thickness. Prices vary and it may not be as expensive as you might expect.

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Updated: 02/2018   copyright 2011 Rowecraft