USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
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Madison, WI 53705-2398
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Wood Technical Fact Sheet

Cordia spp.

(hard-Wooded, dark-colored Gerascanthus group)


Family: Boraginaceae

Other Common Names: Anacahuite, Baria (Cuba), Siricote, Bocote, Cupane, Amapa asta (Mexico), Canalete (Colombia, Venezuela), Louro pardo (Brazil), Loro negro (Argentina).

Distribution: The several species of this group are found in northern Florida, West Indies, Central America, and southward to Brazil and Argentina.

The Tree: A small to large tree, sometimes 100 ft. tall. In Mexico the trees are found in Tropical Dry zones with precipitation of about 1,000 mm and up to 500 m elevations.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood tobacco colored to reddish brown, with irregular dark brown or blackish streaks and variegations, with more or less of an oily or waxy appearance; rather sharply demarcated from the grayish or yellowish sapwood. Luster variable; texture fine to medium, grain variable; taste not distinctive; scent mild fragrant, at least when fresh.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) ranges from 0.63 to 0.84; air-dry density 48 to 65 pcf.

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

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (19) 13,700 1,390 NA

12% 15,700 1,580 NA

Green (30) 13,700 1,760 8,500

15% 18,500 NA 9,000

Janka side hardness 2,200 lb for air-dry material. Amsler toughness 340 in.-lb at 15% moisture content (2-cm specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood is difficult to dry; readily develops surface checking and end splitting. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.0%; tangential 7.4%; volumetric 11.6%. Holds its place well when manufactured.

Working Properties: A readily worked timber, finishing very smoothly.

Durability: Durability is rated high.

Preservation: No data available.

Uses: Fine furniture, cabinet work, turnery, flooring, rotary and sliced veneer, and rifle stocks.

Additional Reading: (19), (30), (56)

19. Echenique-Manrique, R., and V. Diaz Gomez. 1969. Algunas caracteristicas tecnologicas de la madera de once especies Mexicanas. Bol. tec. inst. Nac. Invest. For. Mexico No. 27.

30. Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas. 1956. Tabelas de resultados obtidos para madeiras nacionais. Bol. Inst. Pesqu. tec. Sao Paulo No. 31.

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

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