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


Wood Technical Fact Sheet


 Sterculia pruriens


Family: Sterculiaceae

Other Common Names: Yahu, Maho, Manmaho (Guyana), Chicha brava, Capote, Envireira (Brazil).

Distribution: Occurs in the Guianas and northern Brazil.

The Tree: Sometimes reaches a height of 130 ft and trunk diameters of 36 in.; more commonly 100 ft in height with diameters around 24 in. Boles are clear to 60 to 70 ft with low taper.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood whitish or grayish and not distinct from the sapwood. Texture medium to coarse; grain usually straight; somewhat lustrous; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.46; air-dry density 37 pcf.

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

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (40) 9,000 1,890 4,350

12% 9,700 1,930 8,230

12% (42) 12,400 1,605 7,100

12% (24) 12,600 1,780 6,550

Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content ranges from 770 to 825 lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness at 12% moisture content 116 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: Reported to be moderately difficult to air-season, dries rapidly but tends to warp. Kiln schedule T2-D4 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-D3 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.7%; tangential 9.9%; volumetric 15.4%. Movement after manufacture is rated as large.

Working Properties: The wood works easily with both hand and machine tools; a smooth finish is obtained if sharp cutters are used.

Durability: Not resistant to attack by decay fungi and very susceptible to both dry wood and subterranean termites. Also prone to blue stain.

Preservation: Reported to be moderately resistant to penetration using creosote oil.

Uses: Light construction work, interior joinery, boxes and crates, pulp and paper.

Additional Reading: (24), (40), (42), (46)