Izabal Wood Co.


Frijolillo / Cojoba arborea

Local Names
Bahama Sibucu, Cola de Coche, Royal Mahogany, Changuinola, Algarrobo, Ardillo Wood, Barba de Jolote, Iguano, Lorito, Cola de Mico, Quebracho, Tamarindo, Tuburús
Source & Tree

The tree’s scientific name derives from the word cojoba or cohiba, used by indigenous Taino speakers of the Caribbean to refer to the dry leaves of the tree. Known as chukum in Mayan, wild tambran is a large tree reaching heights of 40 meters and over a meter in diameter, it has a fluted base and straight, cylindrical trunk. It’s found in the humid Atlantic lowland forests and in drier regions along riverways. It doesn’t occur in high concentrations in natural forest but often appears in pastureland in sandy and clayey soils. Its native range extends from southern Mexico as far south as Ecuador and includes Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico. The wood is highly sought after in Honduras and has been exported historically to England and the US sometimes under the trade name Bahama sabicu.

Wood Appearance
Wild tambran is a beautiful and versatile hardwood, highly valued by those familiar with it. Its heartwood is typically a light brown or grayish red or orange. It has curved to interwoven fibers, a fine to medium texture, and medium luster. In appearance, wild tambran’s beautiful figure and grain has been compared to those of big-leaf mahogany.
Processing Properties
Despite its density, it is easily worked by hand, and machines well, though presence of interlocked grain requires sharp blades for planing surfaces. It saws and shapes well and takes a good polish. Fasteners hold well, and gluing properties are excellent.
Strength & Durability
Wild tambran is a highly durable and dense wood, especially when finished properly. It possesses good resistance to dry wood-borers, termites and rot. Its density is similar to bur oak and pin oak. It’s dimensionally quite stable. Its strength lends it to heavy construction.
Wood Uses
Flooring, cabinetry, decorative moldings, joinery, tool handles, paneling, doors and windows, general interior and heavy exterior construction, railroad crossties, turnery, veneers, flooring, parquet, furniture, sculpture, and posts.
Non-Timber Uses
It has potential for musical instruments. Its wide canopy makes it attractive as an ornamental plant for parks and avenues. As a nitrogen fixer, it is useful in restoring soils.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsFrijolilloShagbark HickorySugar Maple
Janka Hardnesskgf751853658
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa10.614.912.6
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa97.4139.3109.0
Crushing StrengthMPa59.163.554.0
Shrinkage, Radial%2.3%7.0%4.8%
Shrinkage, Tangential%4.7%10.5%9.9%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%11.2%16.7%14.7%
T/R Ratio2.01.52.1
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
“Catálogo virtual de flora del Valle de Aburrá.” Universidad EIA.
“Investigación e Ingeniería de la Madera.” Revista del Laboratorio de Mecánica de la Madera. Volumen 10, Número 3, Diciembre 2014.
“Propiedades y Usos de la Madera de Barba de Jolote.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
“Propiedades y Usos de la Madera de Barba de Jolote.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
Barba Jolote. Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en Espana."
Cojoba arborea. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semilas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Echenique-Manrique, R. and R.A. Plumptre. "A Guide to the Use of Mexican and Belizean Timbers." Tropical Forestry Papers 20. 1990.
Frijolillo "Catalogo de Arboles." Red de Viveros de Biodiversidad (México).
Frijolillo. "Fichas técnicas sobre características
tecnológicas y usos de maderas
comercializadas en México." Tomo II. CONAFOR.