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CABREUVA

Myocarpus spp. and Myroxylon spp.
(Myroxylon balsamum is often sold as santos mahogany)

This South American wood (primarily Brazil and Paraguay) includes at least four species in the genus Myocarpus of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family and three species in the genus Myroxylon, also of the family Fabaceae. These seven species are:

Myrocarpus balsamum --- cabreuva vermelha / red cabreuva
Myrocarpus erythroxylon --- cabreuva
Myrocarpus fastigiatus --- cabreuva amarella / yellow cabreuva
Myrocarpus frondosus --- cabreuva branca / white cabreuva / balsamo
Myroxylon balsamum --- cabriuva vermelha / red cabreuva / balsam / santos mahogany
Myroxylon peruiferum --- cabreuva vermelha / red cabreuva / balsam
Myroxylon toluiferum --- cabreuva vermelha / red cabreuva / balsamo

Myroxylon balsamum is often sold as santos mahogany and it is the only one of the 7 species above that uses that name, BUT ... because it is SO similar in characterists to the others and because it ALSO is sold under the name cabreuva, I have not broken it out on a separate page. (Actually, I HAD it broken out separately for those pieces that were sold as santos mahogany but that got too confusing so I merged it into this page)

The wood is used for flooring in South America and some of the species produce a medicinal oil. It is a hard, dense, heavy wood, is moderately difficult to work but can be finished smoothly with a high natural polish. Though non-siliceous, this wood creates more than the usual dulling of cutters.



my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of balsamo / Myroxylon balsamum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above. The change in color from orangish on the end grain shot to purplish on this update is a bit weird, but totally accurate.


both sides of a sample plank of cabreuva / Myroxylon balsamum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The vendor calls this "figured" but that's just his imagination, based on a couple of knotty areas. It's typical of his misrepresentation of figure in his samples.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


two small planks of cabreuva / unknown species --- color correction didn't get these quite right --- they should be the same color as the small plank directly below (which was cut from one of them)


plank and end grain, cut from one of the larger planks directly above. These pics has very accurate color.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


planks of cabreuva / unknown species with accurate color. Note the total lack of orange, unlike some other pieces which have some orange tint --- these are both more reddish-brown, with the first plank having more red than the second one.


planks and a closeup --- the actual wood color on these is a just a shade more purple and less red than what is shown here


small plank section of santos mahogany


flooring sample of santos mahogany donated by Dale Romaine (thanks, Dale) as santos mahogany. I've rough-sanded this and the scratch marks are still very visible but both the side grain and the end grain show up very nicely


bowl blank of santos mahogany, face and end grain --- I believe this sample is Myroxylon balsamum but the one directly below almost certainly is not. This was sold to me as santos mahogany


plank of santos mahogany and end grain --- this was cut from the sister bowl blank to the one directly above, BUT ... based on the end grain update, I now believe that this is probably not Myroxylon balsamum. The pores are much more widely spaced and the rays and much thicker and much less numerous. The face grain does look identical to the other samples on this page, so I'm not 100% sure what to think.


side grain closeup of the piece directly above.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. The color in the closeup shot is too washed out but the update is correct.


small planks cut from the same bowl blank as the one above but only rough sanded


small slab of santos mahogany --- reddish color is correct


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR
flooring sample of santos mahogany which has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color.


the piece directly above, after I sanded off the finish --- this was a thin plywood layer, so I could not get an end grain pic


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR
flooring sample of santos mahogany which has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color. I sanded off the finish and took the pics directly below


flooring sample of santos mahogany and end grain (see above for a shot of this piece with a finishing agent)


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. The color in the closeup is too washed out but the update is just right (yeah, it really got that dark)


flooring sample of santos mahogany which has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color. I sanded off the finish and took the pics directly below


flooring sample of santos mahogany and end grain (see above for a shot of this piece with a finishing agent)


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR
flooring sample of santos mahogany which has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color. I sanded off the finish and took the pics directly below


flooring sample of santos mahogany and end grain (see above for a shot of this piece with a finishing agent)


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


flooring sample of santos mahogany which has been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color. I sanded off the finish and took the pics directly below


flooring sample of santos mahogany and end grain (see above for a shot of this piece with a finishing agent)


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


flooring sample of santos mahogany and end grain


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the flooring sample directly above


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR
five different flooring samples of santos mahogany, all of which have been finished with a hard, shiny finishing agent that has deepened and enriched the color.


the same 5 flooring samples of santos mahogany as above, but with the finish sanded off --- there was a slight bow in some of these and the finish is not totally sanded off in the middle of those.



web pics:


plank of santos mahogany with wet and dry sections


planks


planks listed as santos mahogany


planks listed as balsamo / Myroxylon balsamum --- I'm doubtful about the color of the first one


planks listed as cabreuva / Myrocarpus frondosus --- I'm doubtful about the color on both of these


plank listed as cabreuva / Myrocarpus erythroxylon


flooring


web-based pics of planks that I have purchased. The color in the first pic is pretty accurate, the second is a little off and the third is just a joke.


veneer listed as santos mahogany / Myroxylon balsamum




3 views of the same plank of santos mahogany, all presented by the BogusColorVendor. The two long pics have exaggerated red color but you wouldn't necessarily know that just looking at the pics, but look what they've done to the red color in the 3rd pic, which is purportedly a closeup of the piece. This is representative of the fundamental dishonesty of this vendor. Some of the brighter color web-pics above are probably also from them.


another plank of santos mahogany plus closeup from them and this time even the distance pic is obviously one of their exaggerations, although this is not nearly as bad as they sometimes do


other planks of santos mahogany from them, showing relatively (for them) mild misrepresentation