Snake bean - Prosono international

Snake bean

Snake bean wood

High-quality snake bean wood for sale

Snake bean wood is a strong and very dense African hardwood. Contrast between its reddish-orange heartwood, dark grain and white to yellow sapwood can result in pleasing, unusual patterns.

The wood has fairly coarse grain but works well and polishes to a lustrous finish.

ProSono Hardwoods is a supplier of snake bean for furniture making and joinery, as well as specialty wooden objects like jewellery boxes, toys, carvings and pipes. We also supply snake bean for musical instruments, for its decorative value.

Snake bean characteristics

  • Botanical name: Bobgunnia madagascariensis
  • Alternative names: ndale, pau ferro, pau rosa and many others
  • Average dry weight: 64 lb/ft3 (imperial); 995 kg/m3 (metric)
  • Snake bean density: 2,940 lbf (13,080 N) on the Janka scale
  • Distinct, often wavy grain pattern


“I have just picked up the package from Kommetjie post office. The wood is in perfect condition, beautiful, and was extremely well packaged. I am very happy with it, and look forward to doing business with you again.”

~ Christopher Garland

About snake bean wood

Botanical name Bobgunnia madagascariensis
Family Fabaceae (Caesalpinioideaea)
Local name Ndale
English name Snake bean
Distribution Northern Zimbabwe and Zambia
The tree The snake bean tree is a medium to large tree. Most trees reach 3 to 4 metres but they can grow to 15 metres under favourable conditions. Found in low to medium altitudes.
The wood Red/orange colour with marked darkish wavy grain. The sapwood is well demarcated and white to yellow. Snake bean wood is heavy but not oily. It has a density of 1.0 t/m3 when air dried.
Seasoning It dries well when stacked properly.
Workability Snake bean wood is hard and heavy. It is difficult to saw and must be prebored if screwing or nailing. It is more stable when quarter sawn. It turns, planes and polishes well.
Uses This wood has numerous applications, from furniture to joinery, jewellery boxes, toys, carvings and even musical instruments, for its decorative value.

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