Dibetou - a bit of mahogany, a little walnut

Dibetou is a popular and now well-proven exchange wood for many different types of wood - from mahogany to expensive and noble walnut. What other uses for Dibetou and what features it has can be found in detail in this post.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
densityapprox. 0.8 g / cm³ approx. 0.4 - 0.5
Compressive strengthapprox. 49 - 56 N / mm²
flexural strengthapprox. 83 - 100 N / mm²

The values ​​may sometimes differ significantly, but they always move in the specified limits.

Other names and DIN designation

As with most African tropical woods, Dibetou has a number of different names. The most important of these is Bibolo, which is also heard more often in the local timber trade. In addition, the following (partly African) designations have become naturalized as trade names:

  • Apopo
  • embero
  • VOKA Voka
  • Penkwa
  • Lovoa
  • Bombolu

Dibetou is often offered under the name African Walnut, which is a bit misleading, since only the look a little bit of walnut wood reminds, but there is no botanical relationship. The DIN abbreviation for Dibetou is LVTR.
The term "Tigerwood" is aimed primarily at a streifige Qualiltät with numerous very dark stripes (rubber veins), which is seen only in a few woods.



The pores are scattered, medium sized and often have dark fillings. The rays of wood affect the wood picture only slightly and are barely recognizable. The grain is partially regular, occasionally you can also see glossy stripes. Typical of Dibetou are the very dark (almost black) rings, which can be recognized as fine dark lines. If these occur frequently, it concerns the so-called "Tigerwood"


While the structure is more like mahogany, the color scheme is quite similar to that of native walnut.


Dibetou has a low hardness and is sometimes quite difficult to work with, especially when there is a lot of alternating rotation. When in contact with ferrous metals, it tends, like many tropical woods, to black discoloration, especially in the wet state.

Shrinkage and drying

Drying is usually easy, but large dimensions can be forgone if dried too quickly. The shrinkage is moderate to good.


Dibetou is only slightly weather-resistant, tends to grave, and is only slightly resistant to fungal and insect infestation (resistance class 3-4, is equivalent to larch, Douglas fir and pine)


Dibetou is used almost exclusively as exchange wood for either mahogany or walnut. The low price makes it a sought after alternative. Otherwise, it is occasionally used in furniture as solid wood. An outdoor use is not advisable and is usually omitted because of the tendency to grayness.


Dibetou comes mainly from the west of Africa.


Dibetou is available in the local timber trade at prices between 900 and 1,300 EUR per m³, it costs about as much as local oak. In the timber trade in Germany it is occasionally offered under the trade name Bibolo.

Here you will find an overview of the most important types of wood worldwide. An overview of the most important tropical wood species, such as Angelique, can be found here

Tips & Tricks

The wood dust of Dibetou can strongly irritate the mucous membranes, therefore always use a sufficiently powerful suction during processing.

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