Other Common Names: Guayatil colorado, Palo colorado (Panama), Brasilete, Carmesi (Colombia), Aguacatire, Paraguata (Venezuela), Palo rosado (Peru), Arareua, Arariba Pau Brasil (Brazil).
Distribution: Continental tropical America from southern Mexico to southern Brazil and Paraguay.
The Tree: Sometimes 65 ft in height with a trunk diameter of 20 in.
General Characteristics: Heartwood rather dark brown, usually poorly developed; sapwood usually becoming red, pink, or violet rose throughout or more often variegated and often fading to yellowish brown on the surface. Luster medium to low; texture rather fine and uniform; grain straight to irregular; odorless when dry, taste slightly bitter.
Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.52; air-dry density 40 pcf.
Mechanical Properties: (2-cm standard)
Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength
(%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)
Green (32) 10,800 1,200 5,030
15% 14,400 NA 6,700
Janka side hardness for green material 1,070 lb. Amsler toughness at 15% moisture content 130 in-lb (2-cm specimen).
Drying and Shrinkage: No information available on drying characteristics. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.8%; tangential 8.2%; volumetric 10.6%.
Working Properties: Working properties are reported as good.
Durability: Based on a laboratory evaluation, reported to have moderate resistance to attack by decay fungi.
Preservation: Reported to be highly permeable.
Uses: Turnery, boxes and crates, interior trim, millwork, light construction. Wood and bark yield a red dye used commercially.
Additional Reading: (32), (56)
32. Instituto de Pesquisas Technologicas. 1971. Arariba-Sickingia sp.-Rubiaceae. Fichas de Caracteristicas das Madeiras Brasileiras, Inst. Pesqu. tec. S. Paulo IPT/DIMAD/FC:24.
56. Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess. 1949. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.
From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.