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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Centrolobium spp.

Arariba Porcupine Wood

Canary Wood

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Amarillo guayaquil (Panama, Ecuador), Guayacan hobo, Balaustre

(Colombia, Venezuela), Ararauba, Ararauva (Brazil), Morosimo (Paraguay).

Distribution: Five or six species of rather infrequent occurrence from Panama to Ecuador and southern Brazil.

The Tree: A medium-sized to large well-formed tree; generally up to 100 ft high with diameters of 30 to 50 in.; commonly to heights of 40 ft and diameters to 16 in. Narrow buttresses to heights of 3 ft in some species.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood yellow or orange, typically variegated, sometimes "rainbow hued," usually changing to red or brown; rather sharply demarcated from the yellowish sapwood. Luster medium to high; texture fine to rather coarse; grain straight to irregular; some species without odor or taste, others with distinctive odor and sometimes with perceptive taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.61 to 0.69; air-dry density 46 to 53 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on 2-cm standard, second set on 1-i

standard, and third on 2-in. standard.)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (30) 14,200 1,500 5,900

15% 16,800 NA 7,900

12% (24) 18,600 2,130 9,550

12% (44) 17,200 2,440 NA

Janka side hardness 1,030 lb for dry wood. Amsler toughness 288 in.-lb at 15% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to have a moderate drying rate with little to no warp or checking. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock of C. ochroxylon and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.4%; tangential 5.6%; volumetric 8.4%.

Working Properties: The wood is easy to machine with all tools; finishing very smoothly but there may be some fuzzy grain on planing of radial surfaces.

Durability: The wood is reported to be highly resistant to attack by decay fungi, termites and other insects, and marine borers (Teredo).

Preservation: impregnation with wood preservatives is only moderate using pressure-vacuum systems, absorption and penetration is negligible using the open-tank method.

Uses: Heavy construction, railroad crossties, fine furniture and cabinet work, flooring, ship components (planking, keel, decking, and trim), turnery, decorative veneers, cooperage.

Additional Reading: (24), (30), (44), (56)