Sapele Wood has many characteristics that resemble Mahogany, most notably in the color of its heartwood ( golden to dark reddish brown, darkens with age if not treated with finishing oils that will prevent oxidation),grain patterns, and internal characteristics that make it very durable.
One of the defining characteristics of Sapele is the interlocking grain patterns.
These patterns are created from the fiber cells that stretch all the way from the lowest points in the roots all the way to the top of the canopy. During growth, these cells rotate in one way, and can often suddenly switch the direction of rotation once or several times.
This interlocked grain patterns can not only cause various issues during woodworking, but it also has an impact on the visual appearance with the presence of ribbon stripes and many other dramatic figures on veneer.
All these anomalies in the texture of the wood create a dramatic and exotic look that is one of the primary reasons why Sapele and its more famous cousin Mahogany are so praised all around the world.