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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Luehea spp.



Family: Tiliaceae

Other Common Names: Tapasquit (Guatemala), Mapola (Belize), Guacimo (Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama), Algodon de monte (Colombia), Guacimo blanco (Venezuela), Acoita-cavallo (Brazil), Ibatingui, Sota caballo (Argentina).

Distribution: Varying with species from southern Mexico, through Central America, and southward to the Rio de la Plata region of Argentina.

The Tree:

Size varies with species: 100 to 140 ft in height with diameters of 2 to 6 ft (L. seemannii), to 65 ft in height with diameters of 20 in. (L. divaricata). Usually with irregularly fluted trunks.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood brown or brownish, sometimes with a pinkish tinge and more or less streaked; not clearly demarcated from the sapwood. Luster varies from low to fairly high; texture fine to medium; grain straight to finely roey; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) slight variation with species from 0.47 to 0.53; air-dry density 36 to 40 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on 2-cm standard; second on the 2-in. standard; third on the 1-in. standard.)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (30) 10,600 1,210 4,540

15% 13,700 NA 6,450

Green (25) 8,500 1,520 4,200

12% 12,900 1,930 6,180

12% (41) 11,800 NA 6,350

Janka side hardness about 900 lb at 12% moisture content. Amsler toughness 280 in.-lb. at 15% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Generally the various species air dry rapidly with little or no degrade. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage from green to ovendry: radial 3.4%; tangential 7.8%; volumetric 11.0%.

Working Properties: Generally reported to be easy to work, however one species is reported difficult to plane and another difficult to turn.

Durability: All species are reported to be vulnerable to attack by decay fungi and insects.

Preservation: Generally reported to be easy to treat with good penetration and absorption of preservative solutions.

Uses: Millwork, furniture components, flooring, general construction, boxes and crates, veneer and plywood, particleboard, and shoe heels.

Additional Reading: (25), (30), (41), (65)