Izabal Wood Co.


Leche Verde / Symphonia globulifera

Local Names
Manil, Marchare, Ossol, Chewstick, Varillo, Azufre, Cerillo, Paramán, Mataki, Anany, Brea-caspi
Source & Tree
Boarwood is native to parts of the Caribbean and across Central America and northern South America. It also occurs in tropical West Africa. The species is found in high concentrations and good growth in swamp and marsh areas. Frequently 30 meters in height with trunk diameters of 50-75 cm. The trunks can develop stilt roots for additional anchorage in swampy terrain.
Wood Appearance
Its heartwood varies from yellowish to greenish-brown often with stripes distinct from the whitish sapwood. Its luster somewhat medium and variable, its texture coarse with a straight to irregular grain.
Processing Properties
It’s very easy to work with both hand and machine tools, but surfaces tend to roughen in planing and shaping. Pre-boring is recommended. Silica reported to range up to 0.21%.
Strength & Durability
Boarwood falls between the weight and hardness to northern red oak and white oak and has been suggested as a substitute. The heartwood is durable in ground contact with moderate resistance to dry-wood borers and subterranean termites. It can be employed in areas with dampness with appropriate treatment. While poorly permeable, it can be treated with oily preservative products.
Wood Uses
Railroad crossties, general construction, wood frame and heavy carpentry, furniture components, flooring and interior paneling, cooperage, and veneer for plywood.
Non-Timber Uses
The bark contains yellowish resin that is medicinal, used to caulk boats, as a shoemaker’s pitch and to fuel torches.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsLeche VerdeWhite OakBlack Maple
Janka Hardnesskgf579612535
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa13.012.211.2
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa135.0102.391.7
Crushing StrengthMPa59.050.846.1
Shrinkage, Radial%4.8%5.6%4.8%
Shrinkage, Tangential%9.6%10.5%9.3%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%NA16.3%14.0%
T/R Ratio2.01.91.9
Values determined at 12% humidity







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
“Propiedades y Usos de la Madera de Varillo.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
Blanco Flórez, J. "Caracterización de las 30 Especies Forestales maderables más Movilizadas en Colombia Provenientes del Bosque Natural." Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible. 2020
Echenique-Manrique, R. and R.A. Plumptre. "A Guide to the Use of Mexican and Belizean Timbers." Tropical Forestry Papers 20. 1990.
Guias Silviculturales de 23 Especies Forestales del Bosque Humedo de Honduras. Proyecto PD 022/99 Rev 2. PROECEN, ESNACIFOR, OIMT.
Machare. Laboratorio de Productos Forestales. Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Mango. "Maderas de Putumayo: Fichas técnicas para la identificación de especies maderables de Colombia." GFTN. WWF
Manil. Data Sheets. “The main technological characteristics of 245 tropical wood species.” Tropix 7. CIRAD.
Manil. ITTO Lesser Known Species.
Manil. Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en España." Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
Manni/Chewstick. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Notes on Forty-Two Secondary Hardwood Timbers of British Honduras. Forest Department Bulletin No. 1. April 1946.
Standley, PC. Williams, LO. Gibson, DN. "Flora of Guatemala." Volume 24. Field Museum of Natural History. 1974.
Symphonia globulifera. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Symphonia globulifera. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semillas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.