While not a true (Tectona genus) teak, Zambezi Teak shares a similar stability, durability and rot resistance. The heartwood is a reddish-brown color, with prominent, irregular black lines and flecks. The sapwood is a pale muted pink and is clearly demarcated. In contrast to its “Genuine” counterpart, Zambezi Teak is an extremely dense hardwood. Despite its generally straight or slightly interlocked, finely-textured grains, this density makes the wood very difficult to work.
The wood has a high silica content, as well — so resawing the wood can quickly dull and gum up blades.
Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Flooring, veneer, millwork, stringed instrument fingerboards, carvings, turned objects and small specialty items.
Comments: Because of its tannin content, moist wood will stain when in contact with iron.
The wood has seen recent fluxuations in supply, as part of it natural range (in Southern Africa) has been decimated. That said, the wood is reputed to flourish under difficult growing conditions, so supplies are still accessible.
Rhodesian Teak has a low shrinkage rate and is considered to be a solid, dimensionally stable wood, when dry.