Zebrano Hardwood


Zebrano wood is a beautiful and versatile timber, also known by its botanical name Microberlinia brazzavillensis and M. bisulcata (Leguminosae). Its sapwood is normally whitish in colour, while the heartwood is a light golden-yellow or pale brown, with thin darker streaks or veins that range from dark brown to near-black. These give the wood its distinctive zebra-stripe pattern, for which it is named. Zebrano has an interlocked or wavy grain, with a medium to coarse texture and a high gloss. The alternating hard and soft grain can produce an attractive ribbon figure. Zebrano is suitable for a range of applications, from veneer and cabinetmaking to furniture. If it is currently available from sustainable and legal sources, you can use our system to be connected with suppliers of Zebrano.

  • Spec:
  • FAQ's:
  • Uses:
  • Links:

Material Type:

Also Called:
African Zebrawood, Zingana, Allen Ele, Ele, Okwen, Amouk

Durability Notes:
Zebrano is not durable and is subject to insect attack. It is also resistant to preservative treatment although the sapwood will accept treatments.

The drying and seasoning of Zebrano is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Zebrano - challenging to dry. There can be problems with splitting, distortion and surface checking if insufficient care is taken. It exhibits small movement in use. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Zebrano is a hard, dense and heavy wood with high strength properties and very high stiffness. It is not suitable for steam bending. It works well with hand tools and in most machining operations. Planing can be challenging so sanding is advised for a final finish. The wood drills, moulds and mortices well and gluing is satisfactory if care is taken and appropriate glue is used. Pre-drilling is advised for nailing and screwing. If a clear filler is used, the wood can be brought to an excellent polished finish.

Typical Uses:
furniture, flooring, cabinetry, musical instruments, paneling, veneer, boatbuilding, countertops.

Moisture Content:
8-12% KD

Possible Health Risks:
Irritant to the eyes and skin, asthma, breathing challengingies, sensitizer

Commonly asked questions about Zebrano Wood

Is Zebrano a hardwood or a softwood? Zebrano is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Zebrano hardwood or softwood? - Zebrano is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Zebrano family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Zebrano? Zebrano can be described as black/very dark brown, brown, dark brown, grey, light brown, yellow/brown

Is Zebrano good for outdoor use? or is Zebrano good for exterior use? Zebrano is most suited for internal/interior use. Zebrano should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

Are you in the timber industry?

Would you like help growing your business and have access to free industry tools and eBooks? Then please visit:



Any One Wood - The Wood Databse