USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
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Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet

Caesalpinia spp.

syn. Libidibia spp.

Partridgewood

Coffeewood

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: ebano (Mexico), Granadillo (Colombia, Venezuela).

Distribution: Chiefly Venezuela but also found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The Tree: Mature trees are from 50 to 75 ft tail, with a well-formed trunk sometimes 36 in. in diameter, clear of branches for 35 ft.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood dark red to chocolate brown or nearly black, usually with fine pencil-striping of parenchyma; sharply demarcated from the yellowish or pinkish white sapwood. Luster medium to low; texture medium to coarse; grain straight to very irregular; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 1.05; air-dry density 78 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: A heavy strong timber, but no technical data available on mechanical properties.

Drying and Shrinkage: Requires care in seasoning, slow drying. With adequate precautions, results are satisfactory. No shrinkage data available. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4.

Working Properties: Difficult to work, but finishes smoothly; works very well in turnery.

Durability: Highly resistant to attack by decay fungi.

Preservation: Not treatable.

Uses: Specialty turnery. in countries of origin used for heavy construction work.

Additional Reading: (56), (78), (80)

56. Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess. 1949. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.

78. Wood [U. K.]. 1942. World timbers No. 74, Partridge wood (Caesalpinia granadillo). Suppl. to Wood 7(1).

80. Wood [U. K.]. 1963. World timbers No. 39, Maracaibo (Caesalpinia granadillo). Suppl. to Wood 28(11).

From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.