Izabal Wood Co.


Mano de León / Dendropanax arboreus

Local Names
Palo Santo, Cucharo, Pollo, Lengua de Vaca, Mano de Oso, Nagua Blanca, Vaquero, Quesito, Pama, Banco, María Molle, Bois Négresse, Potato Wood, White Gumbolimbo.
Distribution & Tree
Common and widespread in tropical Americas, from Mexico southward to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia as well as the West Indies. It thrives in rocky soils, along the skirts of hills, pastureland, in humid areas and waterways. The tree reaches heights of 30 meters and trunk diameters of 70cm.
Wood Appearance
The wood is cream-colored to grayish-yellow. The grain is straight; texture is medium and uniform; luster is low to medium. There is no color differentiation between heartwood and sapwood. It’s a substitute for mahogany.
Processing Properties
The wood is easy to work but tends to develop fuzzy grain during planing. Inadequate for turnery. Easy to cut into veneer.Air dries rapidly, nails and screws easily, and takes a good finish.
Strength & Durability
The wood is very susceptible to attack by decay fungi and insects, also prone to blue stain. The wood is easy to treat with pressure-vacuum systems which achieve complete penetration and absorption.
Wood Uses
Boxes and crates, general carpentry and interior construction, furniture frames, millwork, decorative veneer and plywood, interior panels, tongue depressors, doors and windows, and particleboard.
Ecological & Social Importance
A fast growth tree, it’s used for shade in coffee plantations. A tea produced from a decoction of the leaves is used medicinally.
Reference Species with Similar Density & Hardness
Technical CharacteristicsAngelicaAmerican ElmLoblolly Pine
Janka Hardnesskgf372376313
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa11.39.212.3
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa71.781.488.3
Crushing StrengthMPa30.338.149.2
Shrinkage, Radial%5.1%4.2%4.8%
Shrinkage, Tangential%8.3%9.5%7.4%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%13.8%14.6%12.3%
T/R Ratio1.62.31.5
Values determined at 12% humidity - Provided for reference only







Values are for reference only and cannot be guaranteed. Wood is a natural material and physical and mechanical properties may vary depending on age, genetics, and other factors. We encourage customers to consult the references provided in the bibliography. For further explanations of wood’s key technical characteristics, an excellent resource is the Wood Database with articles on Density (average dried weight); Janka hardness; Elastic Modulus; Rupture Modulus; Crushing Strength; Radial, Tangential and Volumetric Shrinkage.

ReferencesView Source
Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. México.
"Catálogo de Maderas Tropicales de México". 2012
Cucharo. "Catalogo de Arboles." Red de Viveros de Biodiversidad (México).
Dendropanax arboreus. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semillas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Dendropanax arboreus. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Forster, R. et al. "Comunidades forestales y el mercadeo de maderas tropicales poco comerciales de Mesoamérica." 2002.
Laboratorio de Ecología de Poblaciones y Comunidades Tropicales. UNAM.
Little, E. Wadsworth, F. "Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands." USDA Forest Service. July 1964.
Useful Tropical Plants. The Ferns.
Vester, H., Navarro-Martínez, A. "Fichas Ecológicas arboles maderables de Quintana Roo." Forest Ecology And Management, Tropical Forest Ecology. 2007.