Cybistax donnell-smithii
syn. Tabebuia donnell-smithii
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Other Common Names: Duranga (Mexico), San Juan (Honduras), Palo blanco (Guatemala), Cortez, Cortez blanco (El Salvador).


Distribution: Southwestern Mexico, Pacific coast of Guatemala and El Salvador, and north central Honduras. Occurs in mixed forests on well-drained limestone, volcanic or alluvial soils from sea level to an elevation of about 800 ft.


The Tree: Attains a height of 100 ft, commonly with trunk diameters of 2 to 3 ft, occasionally 4. Bole is clear and smooth 24 to 40 ft.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: The wood is cream colored, yellowish white to pale yellowish brown, often more or less striped. Sapwood not clearly demarcated, slightly paler than the heartwood. Grain straight to roey; texture medium to rather coarse, uniform; luster fairly high; odorless and tasteless.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.40; air-dry density 29 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

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

Green (74)                   7,180                           990                              3,510


12%                              9,530                         1,040                            5,600


Janka side hardness about 680 lb for both green and dry material. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 75 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).


Drying and Shrinkage: Wood is easy to air-season, drying rapidly with no checking and only slight warp. A modified kiln schedule T6-F3 is suggested for 4/4 stock (68). Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 3.1%; tangential 5.1%; volumetric 9.1%. Holds its place well after manufacture.


Working Properties: The wood is easy to work in all operations even though there may be considerable grain variation; finishes smoothly and acquires an attractive polish. Produces a good quality veneer.


Durability: Laboratory tests indicate a variable resistance to both brown-rot and white-rot fungi, similar to field observations. Weathering characteristics are good.


Preservation: No data available on treatability.


Uses: Fine furniture, cabinet work, decorative veneers, and interior trim.


Additional Reading: (35), (56), (68), (74)


35.  Kukachk, B.F. 1958. Primavera (Cybistax donnell-smithii). USDA For. Serv. FPL- Rep. No. 2021. For. Prod. Lab., Madison, WI.

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

68.  Torgeson, O.W. 1957. Schedules for kiln drying of wood. USDA For. Serv. FPL Rep. No. D1791. For. Prod. Lab., Madison, WI.

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.