Heartwood light to golden brown, grayish to pale straw, distinct. Texture coarse; grain broadly interlocked producing an attractive ribbon figure; moderate luster; unpleasant odor when freshly cut and may return if timber is rewetted; sawdust may irritate skin and mucous membranes; may stain if in contact with iron under moist conditions.
Dabema has yellowish brown streaky heartwood. Its sapwood is pale and has a coarse interlocked grain. It smells when wet. Therefore it needs extra care in drying to avoid distortion. For some commercial purposes it is regarded as an alternative to Iroko.
Works well, blunting of tooth edges most pronounced in sawing, cutting angle of 15 degrees is suggested for planning knives to minimize tearing of interlocked grain, nailing and gluing satisfactory, moderate wood- bending characteristics.