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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Cordia spp.

(soft-wooded, light-colored Alliodora group) Laurel Blanco

Family: Boraginaceae

Other Common Names: C. goeldiana: Freijo, Frei jorge (Brazil); C. alliodora: Laurel blanco, Pardillo (Venezuela), Bojon (Mexico), Louro (Brazil).

Distribution: The several commercial species have a range that includes southern Mexico to the southern edge of the tropics in South America. Freijo is found in the Atlantic zone of Para and in the Tocantins and Xingu River basins of Brazil.

The Tree: Varies in size in different regions; frequently 40 to 60 ft in height with diameters of 18 to 24 in.; in areas of optimum growth it attains diameters of 36 in. and heights of 120 ft. Narrow buttresses are commonly 6 ft or less in height.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood yellowish to brown, uniform or more or less streaked and variegated; light colored material not clearly differentiated from sapwood. Luster is medium to high, often rich and golden; texture very variable from fine to coarse; grain usually straight to shallowly interlocked; dark- colored specimens have spicy scent.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.44 to 0.52; air-dry density 34 to 40 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (74) 9,050 1,280 4,040

12% 12,180 1,510 6,330

Janka side hardness averages about 910 lb for green material and about 1,000 lb for dry. Forest Products Laboratory toughness ranged from 138 in.-lb to 195 in.,- lb, averages for green and dry material (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-seasons rapidly with only slight warping and checking. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-01 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.4%; tangential 7.1%; volumetric 9.2% (C. alliodora). Holds in place well after manufacture.

Working Properties: The wood is easy to work and finishes smoothly; readily glued.

Durability: The heartwood is rated as durable upon exposure to both white-rot and brown-rot fungi but degree of durability appears to be related to the coloring of the wood. Also reported to have good resistance to dry-wood termites. The wood has got weathering characteristics and absorbs moisture at a moderate rate. Not resistant to attack by marine borers in some areas, but C. alliodora is reported to have high resistance in Panama waters.

Preservation: Heartwood is not receptive to preservation treatments; sapwood absorption is adequate but with marginal penetration.

Uses: General construction, millwork, fine cabinet and furniture components, flooring, decorative veneer, cooperage, boat construction; for some applications used as a substitute for teak, walnut, or mahogany.

Additional Reading: (30), (56), (73), (74)