The bubinga wood is obtained from the Guibourtia tessmannii tree, a species belonging to the family of the Cesalpinaceae. It receives different names depending on its country of distribution, among which we can remark bubinga (Europe and Cameroon), akume (United States), kevazingo (Gabon), oveng (Equatorial Guinea) and waka (Zaire).
The bubinga wood has a pinkish or reddish brown colour with some streaks of violet dye that normally fades with its exposure to air and light. The sapwood is well distinguished from the heartwood due to its cream colour.
The bark of the bubinga wood is thin and when it is peeled off it reveals an orange interior with some discs drawn on the surface. It is a heavy and hard timber with medium grain and a vein with thin and large waves.
The bubinga wood has a good durability, however, in a direct contact with the ground or surrounded by a humid environment, fungi or insects can attack its sapwood. It is therefore advisable to apply the appropriate treatment for its proper maintenance for years.
The manipulation of the bubinga wood is easy with the right equipment despite its hardness. It does not produce abrasiveness when it is cut off and its final appearance has a very attractive pinkish appearance. Its bark has adhesive properties in terms of varnishes and dyes, and the drying is usually fast and with a formal outcome despite its hard surface. The gluing, nailing and screwing works well on it, although it is recommended to do a pre-drilled hole.
The bubinga wood is prized for making ornaments and decorative veneers, furniture and special or standard chairs, decorative panels or parquet. It is also used for making handles of utensils or toys, as well as for heavy carpentry, railway sleepers or wagons building.