The sapwood is clearly distinguishable from the heartwood which is yellow and becomes a beautiful golden brown when exposed to the light. The texture is fine or medium and the grain is often interlocked. It has large, visible, scattered open pores and can contain large deposits of calcium carbonate. While the sapwood is attacked by parasites and should therefore be removed, the heartwood is fairly long-lasting.
Iroko is relatively easy to work with all tools, although it does have a tendency to wear down blades because of its calcium carbonate deposits. Due to the interlocked grain, when planing the cutting angle should be 15°. The wood has good gluing, nailing and screwing properties and finishes well, although a filler is needed. It has good resistance outdoors, even in damp environments, so is used for ship building, boat decks, joinery and carpentry. It is a good-looking wood (it looks a little like teak) so is also used as a veneer in the furniture industry.