Chaperno / Lonchocarpus rugosus
Distribution & Tree
Found along streambanks, tropical woodland and subdeciduous forest below 1,400 meters, chaperno is native to Guatemala, southern Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. It’s is closely related to the better-known manchiche (L. castilloi) but is somewhat shorter, usually not exceeding 15 meters. Its reddish-purple flowers blossom from June to July.
Strength & Durability
The wood is heavy, durable and strong with hardness ratings similar to cedrillo (Guarea spp) and santamaria (Calophyllus brasiliense).
Ecological & Social Importance
Traditionally, a purple dye was extracted from its bark used to color textiles. An intoxicating beverage, known as pitarrilla, is produced from the closely-related balché (L. longistylus) whereby the bark is soaked in water with honey or sugar and fermented. Taken by the Lacandon people of Peten, the milky-white drink has low levels of alcohol.
|Technical Characteristics||Chaperno||Black Maple||Teak|
|Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)||GPa||15.3||11.2||13.7|
|Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)||MPa||108.7||91.7||97.1|
|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.