Izabal Wood Co.


Santa Maria / Calophyllum Brasiliense

Local Names
Barí, Leche de María, Calaba, Aceite María, Edaballi, Kurahara, Balsamaría, Guanandi, Jacareuba, Aceite Cachicamo, Alfaro, Lagarto-Caspi, Cedro do Pantano, Bella Maria, Brazil Beauty-Leaf, Crabwood
Distribution & Tree
Santa Maria’s territory spans from southern Mexico across all of Central America to the northern Amazon and is found in the Antilles. It can reach heights of 50 meters with trunk diameters of 1.8 meters. It thrives in soils rich in aluminum and iron and humid, even swampy terrain and is often seen growing in lowlands and alongside rivers.
Wood Appearance
The wood’s hue can vary from a pinkish beige to a reddish gold sometimes with darker veining and figures with golden tones. Logs exhibit a gradual transition from sapwood, which is pinkish, to heartwood, a reddish walnut. Radially-cut or sliced veneer is quite attractive and the species is increasingly used as a substitute for mahogany.
Processing Properties

Its stability is comparable to that of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). It’s easy to mill and cut. It can be sanded easily although the presence of resin can have a dulling effect on equipment. Machining can be performed easily and finishing and gluing are good. Pre-drilling is recommended as it can split. The species shrinkage characteristics are favorable to stability once the wood has been properly dried.

Strength & Durability
It is moderately heavy, strong, durable, and resistant to fungi and dry wood bores. Its mechanical strength allows it to bear loads of medium weight. It’s resistant to termites and moderately resistant to fungal attack. It is difficult to impregnate.
Wood Uses
The wood can be used for indoor construction and joinery, including panels, carpentry, flooring, cabinetry, veneers, masts and railroad ties. It’s commonly used in the fabrication of doors, windows and high-end furniture and lathe work where it’s prized for its lustrous color and desirable finishing capacity. Due to the excellent quality of its wood, the species is utilized on plantations. It’s sometimes used for shipbuilding, outdoor furniture and cladding. Guatemala’s wood industry has utilized the species for production of doors for export to the US, Europe and Mexico.
Ecological & Social Importance
The latex is used to reduce fever and as an antiseptic for wounds. The leaves are said to possess anti-inflammatory properties. In Peten, Guatemala, it is applied as a liniment to the area around the spleen to reduce swelling. The bark produces an excellent rich brown dye. Due to its natural beauty, the tree is sometimes used for ornamental purposes.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsSanta MariaTeakRed Oak
Janka Hardnesskgf508500553
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa14.813.712.1
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa94.097.199.2
Crushing StrengthMPa58.054.846.8
Shrinkage, Radial%3.9%2.6%4.0%
Shrinkage, Tangential%8.9%5.3%8.6%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%14.0%7.2%13.7%
T/R Ratio2.32.02.2
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 Santa María.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
Aceite María. "Maderas de Colombia." GFTN. WWF
Aceite María. Laboratorio de Productos Forestales. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 2018.
Aceite. David H., et al. 2014. "Guía Ilustrada Flora Cañón del río Porce, Antioquia." EPM E.S.P. Universidad de Antioquia, Herbario Universidad de
Antioquia - Medellín, Colombia.
Bari. Silva Guzmán, José Antonio. 2008. Fichas técnicas sobre características y usos de maderas comercializadas en México. Tomo II. Comisión Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR). Guadalajara,
Jalisco. México 8.
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
Calophyllum brasiliense. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Calophyllum brasiliense. Vázquez-Yanes, C., A. I. Batis Muñoz, M. I. Alcocer Silva, M. Gual Díaz y C. Sánchez Dirzo. 1999. Árboles y arbustos potencialmente valiosos para la restauración ecológica y la reforestación. Reporte técnico del proyecto J084. CONABIO - Instituto de Ecología, UNAM.
Catálogo virtual de flora del Valle de Aburrá, Universidad EIA
FSC Denmark Lesser Known Timber Species
Gutiérrez Pacheco, L. "Como elegir maderas según los usos en arquitectura y construcción." Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego.
Hout Database
ITTO Lesser Used Species
Lagarto caspi. "Maderas del Amazonas: Fichas técnicas para la identificación de especies maderables de Colombia."
Lagarto Caspi. "Maderas del Peru", Promdex/WWF/USAID/INIA
Santa Maria. Data Sheets. “The main technological characteristics of 245 tropical wood species.” Tropix 7. CIRAD.
Santa Maria. Wood Technology Transfer Fact Sheets. Forest Products Laboratory. USDA Forest Service.
Velasquez Mendez. "Especies Forestales Comerciales del Peten, Guatemala." 2014
Vester, H., Navarro-Martínez, A. "Fichas Ecológicas arboles maderables de Quintana Roo." Forest Ecology And Management, Tropical Forest Ecology. 2007.
Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en España." Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Vozzo JA. (ed) "Manual de Semilas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.