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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Rheedia spp.



Family: Guttiferae

Other Common Names: Palo de cruz (Puerto Rico), Limoncillo (Mexico), Caimito (Honduras), Madrono (Colombia, Venezuela), Pakoeli (Surinam), Remelento, Bacury, Pacuru (Brazil), Charichuela (Peru).

Distribution: Widely distributed in tropical America from the West Indies and Mexico in the north to Argentina.

The Tree: Medium to large-sized trees up to 100 ft high with stem diameters to 36 in. and more. Cylindrical boles clear to 65 ft above the few low thick buttresses.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood dark yellow brown, grayish-or pinkish-brown merging gradually into the sapwood; surfaces sometimes specked with resinous exudations. Luster medium to rather low; grain straight to irregular and roey; texture medium to coarse; odorless and tasteless.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.72; air-dry density 55 pcf.

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

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (33) 13,000 1,800 5,850

15% 18,800 NA 8,650

12% (41) 18,400 NA 9,050

Janka side hardness for green material 1,250 lb. Amsler toughness at 15% moisture content 425 in.-lb (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Dries rapidly but is reported to be moderately difficult to air-season; tending to warp and check. No data available on kiln schedules. Shrinkage green to ovendry is very high: radial 4.0%; tangential 14.2%; volumetric 16.6%. Movement also reported as rather high.

Working Properties: Reports on workability vary with species from moderate to high resistance to cutting to machining fairly well; reports on ease of finishing also variable.

Durability: Species in Surinam rated durable to attack by decay fungi and fairly resistant to dry-wood termites. Species in Colombia are resistant to a brown-rot fungus but not the white-rot in a laboratory assay. Under field conditions the wood was susceptible to decay and attack by insects.

Preservation: Reported to have adequate absorption using either pressure or open-tank systems; however penetration is irregular.

Uses: Furniture, flooring (quartersawn), heavy construction, and general carpentry.

Additional Reading: (33), (41), (72)