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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Catostemma spp.


Family: Bombacaceae

Other Common Names: Arenillo (Colombia), Baramanni, Baramalli (Guayana), Flambeau rouge (French Guiana), Baraman (Venezuela), Kajoewaballi (Surinam).

Distribution: Carare-Opon and Serrania de San Lucas regions of Colombia; the Guianas and in the low inundated forests near Manaus and northward in Brazil.

The Tree: On best sites may grow to 48 in. in diameter and 150 ft in height; commonly to heights of 100 ft and diameters of 24 in. Unbuttressed trees with long, clear, cylindrical trunks of excellent form.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood dull yellowish- to pinkish brown, distinct but not sharply demarcated from the yellowish-brown sapwood. Grain is straight to slightly interlocked; texture coarse; luster low; without distinctive odor or taste. Quarter sawed surfaces show a distinctive "silver-grain" figure.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.50 to 0.60; air- dry density 36 to 46 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (46) 8,100 1,610 3,840

12% 11,200 1,820 6,730

Green (76) 10,670 2,300 4,280

12% 15,450 2,880 8,340

Janka side hardness 520 lb for green and 720 lb for air-dry material with basic specific gravity of 0.50. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 166 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-seasons rather slowly, degrade due to checking and warp is slight. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 5.2%; tangential 11.1%; volumetric 17.5%. Movement of timber in service is rated as large.

Working Properties: Rated as fair to poor in most machining operations but also reported to work easily with machine and hand tools. Machine-finished surfaces lack luster and are harsh to the touch. Takes glue well and can be nailed without splitting. Easy to cut into veneer.

Durability: Heartwood vulnerable to decay fungi and is rated as very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Sapwood also susceptible to attack by powder- post beetles.

Preservation: Both heartwood and sapwood are easily impregnated with preservatives using either pressure or open-tank processes.

Uses: General construction work where dimensional stability is not critical, fiberboard, particleboard, plywood, box shook, and cooperage.

Additional Reading: (24), (46), (71), (75)