Catostemma spp.
Family: Bombacaceae
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Other Common Names: Arenillo (Colombia), Baramanni, Baramalli (Guayana), Flambeau rouge (French Guiana), Baraman (Venezuela), Kajoewaballi (Surinam).


Distribution: Carare-Opon and Serrania de San Lucas regions of Colombia; the Guianas and in the low inundated forests near Manaus and northward in Brazil.


The Tree: On best sites may grow to 48 in. in diameter and 150 ft in height; commonly to heights of 100 ft and diameters of 24 in. Unbuttressed trees with long, clear, cylindrical trunks of excellent form.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood dull yellowish- to pinkish brown, distinct but not sharply demarcated from the yellowish-brown sapwood. Grain is straight to slightly interlocked; texture coarse; luster low; without distinctive odor or taste. Quarter sawed surfaces show a distinctive "silver-grain" figure.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.50 to 0.60; air- dry density 36 to 46 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)


Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (46)           8,100                             1,610                   3,840


12%                     11,200                           1,820                   6,730


Green (76)           10,670                           2,300                   4,280


12%                     15,450                          2,880                    8,340



Janka side hardness 520 lb for green and 720 lb for air-dry material with basic specific gravity of 0.50. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 166 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).


Drying and Shrinkage: The wood air-seasons rather slowly, degrade due to checking and warp is slight. Kiln schedule T6-D2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-D1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 5.2%; tangential 11.1%; volumetric 17.5%. Movement of timber in service is rated as large.


Working Properties: Rated as fair to poor in most machining operations but also reported to work easily with machine and hand tools. Machine-finished surfaces lack luster and are harsh to the touch. Takes glue well and can be nailed without splitting. Easy to cut into veneer.



Durability: Heartwood vulnerable to decay fungi and is rated as very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Sapwood also susceptible to attack by powder- post beetles.


Preservation: Both heartwood and sapwood are easily impregnated with preservatives using either pressure or open-tank processes.


Uses: General construction work where dimensional stability is not critical, fiberboard, particleboard, plywood, box shook, and cooperage.


Additional Reading: (24), (46), (71), (75)


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

46.   Longwood, F.R. 1962. Present and potential commercial timbers of the Caribbean. Agriculture Handbook No. 207. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

71.   Villamil G., F. (Editor). 1971. Maderas colombianas. Proexpo, Bogot‡.

75.  Wangaard, F.F., W.L. Stern, and S.L. Goodrich. 1955. Propertiess and uses of tropical wood, V. Tropical Woods No. 103:1-139.




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