USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
(608) 231-9200


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Byrsonima coriacea var. spicata

and Byrsonima spp.


Family: Malpighiaceae

Other Common Names: Golden spoon (British West Indies), Maricao (Puerto Rico), Changugo (Mexico), Chaparro (Colombia), Candelo (Venezuela), Kanoaballi (Guyana), Chupicara (Peru), Murici (Brazil).

Distribution: Throughout West Indies, Central America, Colombia, the Guianas, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Common in secondary forests and frequently on lands degraded by farming.

The Tree: Generally may reach a height of 100 to 120 ft, with trunk diameters up to 3 ft. Straight cylindrical bole free of buttresses, and clear to 60 to 70 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood pale to dark reddish brown with a purplish cast, sometimes with a grayish tint. Gray to reddish-brown sapwood somewhat distinct from heartwood. Grain mostly straight or slightly interlocked; texture moderately fine; medium luster; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.61; air-dry density 46 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

Green (42) 12,200 1,570 5,800

12% 18,000 1,950 9,750

Janka side hardness 1,140 lb when green and 1,530 lb for air-dry wood. Forest Products Laboratory toughness reported to be 132 in.-lb at 12% moisture content (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-seasons fairly well, drying at a rather slow to moderate rate; end and surface checking are slight but some tendency to warp. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.0%; tangential 8.2%; volumetric 12.2%.

Working Properties: The wood works fairly easily with both hand and power tools; good to excellent surfaces are produced in all operations. Proper size lead holes must be prebored before screws are driven or the wood splits rather badly.

Durability: The wood is very susceptible to dry-wood termites and other wood-destroying insects, only slightly resistant to decay fungi; no appreciable resistance to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood and sapwood are both moderately resistant to impregnation; good end penetration, however, suggests favorable response to incising.

Uses: General carpentry, furniture and cabinet work, flooring, and turnery. It has been suggested for plywood and veneer.

Additional Reading: (22), (24), (42), (45)