The bark on older stems of Ehretia rigida is pale grey, here with a brownish tinge. It is smooth, although faint, shallow longitudinal fissuring and some rough patches can be seen.
The angularity of stem growth is characteristic, contributing to the general appearance of the puzzle bush. Lower stems reach 13 cm in diameter. Young branches are hairless.
The wood is used for stampers (pestles). Green or fresh wood is used directly to make spear shafts (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Pooley, 1993).