Snakewood is so called for its characteristic snakeskin patterns. Wood is typically a reddish brown, with contrasting darker brown or black patches. Color tends to darken and homogenize with age and exposure. The wood is extremely dense, and has a pronounced blunting effect on cutters. Snakewood also tends to be quite brittle and can splinter easily while being worked. Despite the difficulties of working it, Snakewood turns well and finishes to a high polish.