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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Licaria spp.


Brown Silverballi

Family: Lauraceae

Other Common Names: Brown silverballi, Kharemero shiruaballi (Guyana), Kaneelhart, Kaneel-pisie (Surinam), Bois canelle (French Guiana).

Distribution: Centered mostly in the Guianas; found in association with Greenheart on hilly terrain, also in Wallaba forests on sandy soils. Occurrence is only occasional.

The Tree: May reach a height of 130 ft with diameters to 44 in., normally 90 to 110 ft with diameters of 20 to 30 in. Boles are unbuttressed but basally swollen, cylindrical, and clear for 50 to 70 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood orange or brown yellow when freshly cut; darkening to yellowish brown or coffee brown on exposure and sometimes with a tinge of red or violet. Sapwood is light yellowish brown. The wood has a fragrant odor most of which is lost on drying. Texture is fine to medium; moderately lustrous; grain is straight to slightly interlocked.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) varies with species from 0.68 to 0.96; air-dry density 52 to 72 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (73) 22,270 3,820 13,390

12% 29,860 4,060 17,400

Janka side hardness 2,210 lb for green material and 2,900 lb. at 12% moisture content. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 287 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Air-seasoning characteristics are variable depending upon source and species ranging from easy to season to moderately difficult. Warp is slight but checking can be severe. No data on dry kiln schedules available. Shrinkage from green to ovendry: radial 5.4%; tangential 7.9%; volumetric 12.5%. Shrinkage is unusually low for a wood of this high density.

Working Properties: High density material is difficult to work but cuts smoothly; tends to splinter in boring. Requires care in gluing; takes an excellent finish.

Durability: Excellent resistance to both brown-rot and white-rot fungi; also rated very high resistance to dry-wood termites. There is little resistance to attack by marine borers.

Preservation: No information available.

Uses: Furniture, turnery, boat building, heavy construction, and parquet flooring.

Additional Reading: (11), (72), (73)