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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Humiria balsamifera



Family: Humiriaceae

Other Common Names: Bastard bulletwood, Tabaniro (Guyana), Basra bolletrie, Tawanangro (Surinam), Bois rouge, Houmiri (French Guiana), Oloroso (Colombia), Couramira, Turanira (Brazil).

Distribution: The Guianas, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Brazilian Amazon. In Guyana it is a principal dominant species in the marsh forests; does best on light sandy soils. In Surinam occurs in savanna forests.

The Tree: Heights 90 to 120 ft with long cylindrical clear bole 60 to 70 ft; commonly 20 to 28 in. in diameter, occasionally up to 48 in.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood varies from light brown to reddish brown; poorly demarcated from the narrow light brown sapwood. Texture medium; grain straight to interlocked; luster medium; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.66; air-dry density 50 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (75) 11,720 2,060 5,810

12% 18,770 2,510 8,950

Janka side hardness 1,320 lb for green wood and 1,610 lb at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 146 in.-lb. (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-dries at a rapid rate with slight surface and end checking and some warping. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage from green to ovendry: radial 7.2%; tangential 9.7%; volumetric 15.7%.

Working Properties: The wood is moderately difficult to work, considerable chipped grain develops in planing wood with interlocked grain.

Durability: The species of Humiria have a reputation of being highly durable. Pure culture tests rate the wood very durable when exposed to white-rot fungus but durable to moderately durable in resistance to a brown-rot fungus. The wood is rated resistant to dry-wood termites, but has little resistance to marine borers.

Preservation: No information available.

Uses: Heavy construction, flooring, furniture, wheel spokes, suggested as a possible decorative veneer.

Additional Reading: (46), (56), (75)