Other Common Names: Many species of the Lauraceae may be grouped here, but most are poorly defined botanically. Comino real (Colombia), Silverballi (Guayana), Moena amarilla (Peru), Coto (Bolivia), Louro rosa, Pau rosa (Brazil).
Distribution: Found throughout the Guianas and the Amazon region but also in the Pacific coastal areas of Colombia.
The Tree: Often attains a height of 100 ft with diameters up to 30 in.; clear bole lengths of 55 to 75 ft are obtained.
General Characteristics: The woods are typically yellowish with a greenish hue when fresh, becoming brown or olive on exposure. Narrow sapwood light yellowish. Luster medium to high; grain straight to interlocked; texture fine to medium; spicy odor, taste may or may not be distinctive.
Weight: Woods range from rather light to moderately heavy. Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) often between 0.55 and 0.65. Air-dry density 40 to 5 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (74) 13,250 2,170 6,560
12% 19,030 2,570 10,010
Janka side hardness 1,160 lb green and 1,470 lb dry. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 176 in.-lb, average for green and air-dry material (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Moderately difficult to air-season, dries at a moderate rate, warp and checking are slight. No kiln schedules available. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.7%; tangential 7.0%; volumetric 12.1%.
Working Properties: Easy to work with hand and machine tools and dresses to a smooth surface to give a satiny sheen.
Durability: The timber has an excellent reputation for resistance to decay. Laboratory tests also indicate heartwood very durable to both white-rot and brown-rot fungi.
Preservation: No information available but heartwood is known for its high resistance to moisture absorption and is comparable to teak in this respect.
Uses: Esteemed for high grade furniture, turnery, inlay work. Also favored for boat building, durable construction, and millwork. The wood of Aniba rosaeodora is distilled for its fragrant oil used in the perfume industry.
Additional Reading: (56), (71), (74)
56. Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess. 1949. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.
71. Villamil G., F. (Editor). 1971. Maderas colombianas. Proexpo, Bogota.
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.