Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) is grown commercially, coming mostly from West and Central Africa: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zaire.
Also known as Scented Mahogany with a cedar-like scent that remains even after exposure. It should not be confused with African Mahogany which is very different. It is however difficult to tell apart from its cousin Utile (Entandrophragma utile).
This wood is very pretty with an attractive colour range. The sapwood is a distinctive pale yellow, and the heartwood is a medium reddish, pinkish brown. There are characteristic stripes or ribboning in some of the quarter-sawn blocks, but also can provide a variety of other figured grain patterns. When freshly cut it has a cedar-like scent.
This is a medium-weight timber, fairly tough but does not bend well. It is comparable to Oak in strength properties. When considering laying it as reclaimed parquet floor, it takes glue well. It will take a stain successfully and polishes up superbly. Consequently it works as a successful reclaimed floor.
Sapele has many purposes: furniture, veneers, doors and parquet flooring. It is a very popular, good value wood, often found in domestic houses particularly dating from the 1960s onwards.