Pau Marfim is a dense, fine textured, mostly straight grained hardwood which is generally a creamy white colorm but it can vary from a lemon color to a pale yellowish-brown, also. There is very little contrast between its sapwood and heartwood, although the heartwood can be decorated with darker streaks, occasionally. It is an extremely tough, durable wood, which has seen it utilized as a popular substitute for maple and birch and makes it an ideal choice for anything from flooring to tool handles.
The wood turns excellently, and it is easy to nail, crew or glue. It polishes to a smooth, fine finish, and is considered to be a very dimensionally stable wood.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Tool handles, oars, flooring, textile rollers, drawing instruments, canoes, cabinets, furniture, paneling, decorative plywood, veneer, turnings and carvings.
Comments: For flooring, Pau Marfim is considered superior to either Maple or Birch (commonly used for light-colored wood flooring applications) because of its renowned wear resistance. Despite being similar in appearance, Pau Marfim is harder to work and considered to be stronger than necessary by many cabinet makers familiar with the wood.
Its toughness has seen it used in many outdoor applications, including canoes and oars, despite it being known as having a very weak resistance to decay. Depending on specific location and conditions, the wood can vary greatly in density.