USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53705-2398
Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet
Other Common Names: hoary, nisperillo, oreywood, ori, safo.
Distribution: Reported in the Atlantic lowlands of northern Panama, adjacent Costa Rica, and Pacific coastal regions of Colombia; forms almost pure stands in these marshy areas.
The Tree: Medium-sized trees 40 to 60 ft high with bole diameters of 10 to 15 in., occasional up to 24 in.; well-formed stems that are often clear to 30 ft.
General Characteristics: Heartwood white to grayish buff sometimes with a yellowish tint; no marked contrast with the sapwood. Somewhat silvery luster; fine textured; straight grained; distinctive odor when fresh, but without characteristic odor or taste when dry.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.33; air-dry density 25 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (7) 5,080 1,070 2,660
12% 8,700 1,480 5,200
Janka side hardness 336 lb for green material and 425 lb at 12% moisture content.
Drying and Shrinkage: The lumber air-seasons rapidly with little or no tendency to warp or check. Kiln schedule T5-C3 has been suggested for 4/4 stock. A faster schedule has been suggested that can dry this wood to 7% moisture content in 6 to 8 days (51). No shrinkage data available.
Working Properties: This wood is easy to saw and machine with ordinary shop tools; holds nails well; finishes smoothly.
Durability: The wood is not resistant to attack by decay fungi or insects; prone to blue stain.
Preservation: The wood is reported to be easy to treat.
Uses: Boxes and food containers, furniture components, millwork, moldings, plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, pulp and paper products; also suggested for pencil slats.
Additional Reading: (7), (51), (52), (71)
7. Bendtsen, B. A., and M. Chudnoff. 1979. Properties of seven Colombian woods. USDA Forest Serv. Res. Pap. FPL-299. For. Prod. Lab., Madison, Wis.
51. McMillen, J. M., and R. S. Boone. 1974. Kiln-drying selected Colombian woods Forest Prod. J. 24(4):31 -36.
52. Mothershead, J. S., and J. H. Markley. 1973. Tropical wood evaluation and utilization experiences. Forest Prod. J. 23(4):32-37.
71. Villamil G., F. (Editor). 1971. Maderas colombianas. Proexpo, Bogota.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.