Sickingia spp.
Family: Rubiaceae
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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.


The Wood:

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.