Tieli wood is often confused with jichimu, yet lacks the latter's contrasting colors. Tieli is predominantly grayish black, and its open grain has a coarse texture. It once grew abundant in Guangdong where its large timbers were used for bridges and house construction; on Hainan Island the natives used it for firewood. Nevertheless, in the more northern regions its was regarded as a rare hardwood and was noted for as a desirable wood for furniture-making in late Ming texts. Furniture made from tieli often has a thick quality and is frequently with little or no carved decoration.