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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Piptadenia pittieri

and P. spp.


Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Hediondo, Bocachico, Rabo de iguana (Colombia), Carbonero, Carabali (Venezuela), Huilca, Tarahuilca (Peru).

Distribution: Abundantly represented in tropical South America; timber described in this group mostly from Venezuela and Colombia.

The Tree: A medium-sized tree to about 65 ft in height with trunk diameters to 2 ft; boles straight and clear to 30 to 50 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood brown, yellow brown, or reddish brown; sapwood light brown to whitish, not always clearly demarcated. Texture fine to medium; grain straight to irregular; luster high; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.57 to 0.67; air-dry density 44 to 49 pcf.

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

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

12% (24) 15,400 1,960 8,250

12% (41) 17,000 NA 8,600

12% (21) 19,700 2,480 9,220

Janka side hardness 1,550 to 1,680 lb at 12% moisture content.

Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rather slowly and prone to severe checking, unless air-dried carefully. No kiln schedule information available. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.6 to 4.4%; tangential 6.4 to 7.5%; volumetric 9.0 to 11.6%.

Working Properties: Rated as fair to good in all machining operations. However, will tend to tear when planing irregular grain.

Durability: Generally reported to be vulnerable to attack by decay fungi and insects.

Preservation: Heartwood treatability varies with species; absorptions are fair to good using a pressure-vacuum system; sapwood is responsive.

Uses: Heavy construction, posts, railroad crossties (treated), furniture, flooring, turnery.

Additional Reading: (21), (24), (41), (6,5)