BOTANICAL NAME: Brosimum spp. of the family Moraceae. Primarily, this is Brosimum rubescens (syn Brosimum paraense) but it also includes
Note there are about 130 species from about 20 different genera that have bloodwood as all or part of one or more of their common names, BUT ... in the USA, that common name almost always means Brosimum rubescens and that is how I present it on this site. The plethora of other woods with the common name does open up the possibility of some confusion but I'm not aware of it ever having done so.
- Brosimum angustifolium --- Mayan bloodwood
- Brosimum caloxylon --- bloodwood, cacique bloodwood, satine
- Brosimum conduru --- cacique bloodwood
- Brosimum rubescens (syn Brosimum paraense) --- bloodwood, cacique bloodwood, satine bloodwood, cacique, satine
There are some 130 species that have "bloodwood" as all or part of one or more of their common names, but it is my intent that the wood reported on for this site be Brosimum spp.
NOTE: a dust mask & long sleeves should always be used while working this wood, as some reports say that it causes skin and respiratory problems in some people.
COMMON NAMES: amapa rana, satine rouge, conduru, satinjout, cardinal wood, muirapiranga (Brazil), bois satine (France), satine rubane, satine rouge, satijnhout, brazil wood, satinee, falso pao Brasil, palo de oro, doekaliballi, ferolia, legno satino, pau rainha, siton paya,
COLOR: The heartwood colour varies from grey-red to deep rich blood red (thus the name), with a golden lustre and variegated yellow and red stripes. Reports usually say it does not change much with age, but my own experience is that it darkens considerably (but not as much as padauk, for example)
one report notes that it ages to a deep brown color and that lacquer extends aging to help preserve red color but my own experience (see the bowl at the top of the pics page) is that is turns a deeper red, not brown.
GRAIN: straight to variable or interlocked; some reports say it has distinct rays but that has not been my experience
TEXTURE: "medium to coarse" or "fine, smooth and lustruous" depending on who you listen to. My own experience is that it is fine to medium, never coarse.
PROPERTIES / WORKABILITY: a strong, hard, tough wood that works fairly easily for all tooling operations and glues well but tends to splinter. May need pre-boring for nailing but holds screws well.
DURABILITY: very resistant to bugs and decay and mechanically very durable. Reportedly resistant to preservative treatment.
FINISH: takes a moderately high natural polish and stains well (but if you stain it and I find out, I will come and hurt you)
STABILITY: small movement in service
BENDING: "high bending strength" or "Low steam bending characteristics" depending on who you listen to.
ODOR: no reports found
SOURCES: Brazil, French Guiana, and Surinam
USES: fine furniture, and inlay work and also used as an accent wood for fancy box making as well as for billiard cue butts, drum sticks, xylophones, organ pipes, turnery, and marquetry. Selected logs are sliced for decorative veneers.
TREE: no reports found
WEIGHT: very heavy; 63 pounds per cubic foot
DRYING: Dries slowly without much degrade
COST: moderate to high --- $15 per board foot and up