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Snakewood
Piratinera guianensis syn. Brosimum guianensis
Letterwood

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Family: Moraceae

Other Common Names: Cacique carey (Panama), Palo de oro (Venezuela), Burokoro, Tibicusi (Guyana), Letterhout (Surinam), Bois d’amourette (French Guiana), Gateado, Muirapenima (Brazil).

Distribution: Guianas, Trinidad, and the Amazon region; a rare to occasional tree.

The Tree Unbuttressed small tree, up to 80 ft in height with trunk diameters of 12 to 20 in.; bole is cylindrical and clear for 40 to 50 ft.

The Wood General Characteristics: Heartwood dark red to reddish brown with irregular radial black markings or with black vertical stripes alone or in conjunction with the speckles; sapwood very thick, yellowish white, line of demarcation often irregular and not very sharp. Luster medium to high; texture fine and uniform; grain straight; odorless and tasteless.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (green volume/oven-dry weight) 0.82 to 1.10; air-dry density 63 to 84 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: No strength values available but reported to be a strong hardwood that splits rather easily, heartwood is rather brittle.

Drying and Shrinkage: Should be dried carefully and in small pieces; shrinkage is reported to be rather high.

Working Properties: Works with difficulty because of hardness; turns well and takes a beautiful polish.

Durability: Heartwood very resistant to attack by decay fungi and dry-wood termites.

Preservation: No information available.

Uses: Inlay, turnery, fancy handles for cutlery, violin bows, walking sticks, drum sticks, butts of fishing rods.

Source: Tropical Timbers of the World, U.S. Forest Products Laboratory.


S P E C I E S


Greenheart / Purpleheart / Mora / Wallaba
Jatoba   / Kabukalli / Determa   / Basralocus
Silverballi / Tatabu / Snakewood
Azobe'-Ekki

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