Xylite is a lithotype of lignite, mainly used for fuel. The wood from which it was formed in a long term process (duration ca. 2 millions of years) was subjected to drastic changes. We conducted anatomical characterization of xylite, evaluated preservation of wood from which it was formed, defined its basic physical properties, and compared it with modern wood. We recognized ground tissue composed of tracheids, uniseriate and homocellular rays, taxodioid like cross-field pits, and abundant axial parenchyma with inclusions. The observed features are typical of coniferous wood species of the Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae families. Colourimetric properties of xylite in CIELab* system are comparable to those of heartwood of ebony or wenge. The xylite had high oven dry density (1,216 kg/m3), but due to very high volumetric shrinkage (28.2 % on average), its basic density was much lower (873 kg/m3). Total linear shrinkage was considerable in all anatomical directions. Consequently it was characterized by low dimensional stability (qT= 0.65 %/%, qR = 0.30 %/%). The equilibrium moisture content (EMC) in desorption process was high, and that of adsorption was comparable to EMCs of high density wood species. GAB sorption model proved to be appropriate for fitting the data obtained in the sorption process.