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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Cybistax donnell-smithii

syn. Tabebuia donnell-smithii


Family: Bignoniaceae

Other Common Names: Duranga (Mexico), San Juan (Honduras), Palo blanco (Guatemala), Cortez, Cortez blanco (El Salvador).

Distribution: Southwestern Mexico, Pacific coast of Guatemala and El Salvador, and north central Honduras. Occurs in mixed forests on well-drained limestone, volcanic or alluvial soils from sea level to an elevation of about 800 ft.

The Tree: Attains a height of 100 ft, commonly with trunk diameters of 2 to 3 ft, occasionally 4. Bole is clear and smooth 24 to 40 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: The wood is cream colored, yellowish white to pale yellowish brown, often more or less striped. Sapwood not clearly demarcated, slightly paler than the heartwood. Grain straight to roey; texture medium to rather coarse, uniform; luster fairly high; odorless and tasteless.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.40; air-dry density 29 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (74) 7,180 990 3,510

12% 9,530 1,040 5,600

Janka side hardness about 680 lb for both green and dry material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 75 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Wood is easy to air-season, drying rapidly with no checking and only slight warp. A modified kiln schedule T6-F3 is suggested for 4/4 stock (68). Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.1%; tangential 5.1%; volumetric 9.1%. Holds its place well after manufacture.

Working Properties: The wood is easy to work in all operations even though there may be considerable grain variation; finishes smoothly and acquires an attractive polish. Produces a good quality veneer.

Durability: Laboratory tests indicate a variable resistance to both brown-rot and white-rot fungi, similar to field observations. Weathering characteristics are good.

Preservation: No data available on treatability.

Uses: Fine furniture, cabinet work, decorative veneers, and interior trim.

Additional Reading: (35), (56), (68), (74)