Other Common Names: Granadillo (Puerto Rico), Almendro (Colombia), Amarillo, Olivo negro (Venezuela), Mirindiba, Periquiteira (Brazil).
Distribution: West Indies, Panama, and South America from Venezuela to French Guiana Brazil, and Bolivia. Several related species are found in the Amazon region.
The Tree: Grows to a height of 60 to 80 ft and 2 to 4 ft in diameter; has rather large buttresses, but has good log form above them.
General Characteristics: Heartwood yellowish brown when freshly cut becoming yellow to golden brown usually with a gray or olive hue upon exposure; sapwood light yellow brown. Grain more or less interlocked; texture medium to rather coarse; luster high with faint spicy odor and mildly bitter taste when green.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.63; air-dry density pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (74) 10,050 1,460 5,130
12% 12,970 1,650 7,440
Janka side hardness averages 1,220 lb for air-dry wood. FPL toughness average for green and dry material is 123 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: Lumber air-seasons rapidly with only a very small amount of degrade in the form of slight bow and twist. This species also performed well in a solar dryer (5/4 stock). No kiln schedules are available. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.8%; tangential 5.7%; volumetric 8.6%. Very low values for a wood of this density.
Working Properties: The wood machines with moderate difficulty because of its hardness, but it produces good surfaces in all operations even though some tearing may result from irregular grain. Performs well in spindle carving. Easy to finish. Rated as fair in steam-bending characteristics.
Durability: Heartwood reported as fairly resistant to decay and to attack by termites and rated as very resistant to attack by dry-wood termites. The wood has little resistance to marine borers. The wood weathers well. Heartwood is relatively high in resistance to moisture absorption. Sapwood highly vulnerable to powder-post
Preservation: Sapwood treatability with oil- or water-based preservatives is rated very low; absorptions can be greatly improved by incising. Heartwood impermeable.
Uses: An attractive furniture wood and suggested for decking, planking, and framing in boat construction; exterior and interior flooring; decorative veneers; turning; wood tanks. The wood has many characteristics similar to white oak and teak.
Additional Reading: (45), (56), (65), (74)
45. Longwood, F. R. 1961. Puerto Rican woods: Their machining, seasoning, and related characteristics. Agriculture Handbook No. 205. U.S. Department of Agriculture.
56. Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess. 1949. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.
65. Slooten, H. J. van der, and P. Martinez E. 1959. Descripcion y propiedades de algunas maderas venezolanas. Instituto Forestal Latino Americano de Investigacion Capacitacion, Merida.
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.