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


Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheet

Couratari spp.

Mahot Tauary

Family: Lecythidaceae

Other Common Names: Congolo-Garapelo (Panama), Tabari, Tauari, (Venezuela), Coco Cabuyo (Colombia), Ingiepipa (Surinam), Tauary (Brazil).

Distribution: Several commercial species range from Costa Rica and Panama southward to the Guianas and Brazilian Amazon.

The Tree: Up to 120 ft high with trunk diameters 3 to 4 ft; boles are well formed above the stout buttresses.

The Wood:

General Characteristics: Sapwood not distinct from the heartwood which is cream colored with a pinkish or yellowish tinge. Luster rather low to high; grain straight or uniformly interlocked; texture medium to coarse; odor and taste usually lacking, odor reported as fetid in some species. Silica to 0.8% reported.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.50; air-dry density 37 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (74) 9,240 1,730 4,260

12% 13,520 1,800 7,460

12% (20) 17,200 NA 8,650

15% (34) 14,200 1,730 7,600

Janka side hardness 880 lb at 12% moisture content and 740 lb for green material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 124 in.-lb. (5/8)-in. specimen.

Drying and Shrinkage: Wood has a moderate rate of drying with slight surface checking and warp. No dry kiln schedule data available. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.1%; tangential 7.3%; volumetric 11.3%.

Working Properties: The wood is rated fair to good in all machining operations. High silica content in some species requires specially tipped cutters.

Durability: Considerable variability of heartwood resistance to decay fungi is reported, from durable to nondurable. Some species show fair resistance to marine borer attack.

Preservation: Heartwood and sapwood easily treated by both pressure and open tank systems with good absorption and penetration.

Uses: General interior construction and carpentry work, boxes and crates, furniture components, veneer and plywood, and railroad crossties (treated).

Additional Reading: (20),(24), (34), (74)

20. Falla Ramirez, A. 1971. Resultados de los estudios fisico-mecanicos de 41 especies maderables de la region Carare-Opon. Plegable Divulgativo, Division Forestal. INDERENA, Bogata.

24. Food and Agriculture Organization. 1970. Estudio de preinversion para el desarrollo forestal de la Guyana Venezolana. lnforme final. Tomo III. Las madera del area del proyecto. FAO Report FAO/SF: 82 VEN 5. Rome.

34. Japing, H. W. 1957. Tests of the most important mechanical and physical properties of 41 Surinam wood species. Meded. Inst. Trop. Amst. No. 122 (Afd. trop. Prod. No. 46).

74. Wangaard, F. F., and A. F. Muschler. 1952. Properties and uses of tropical woods, III. Tropical Woods 98:1-190.

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