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SILVERBALLI

Ocotea spp.


The name "silverballi" seems to be used to designate a really large range of species in the genus Ocotea of the family Lauraceae, the laurel family. So large in fact that it is broken into groups of species, called the "hard" and "soft" groups. I have no specifics on the breakdown by species, but the range of characteristics within the entire set seems to be fairly extreme, since the "hard" group is moderately dense to very dense (40 to 60 lbs/cubic foot) and used for ship decking and at least some of the species in the "soft" group are so light (25 to 35 lbs/cubic foot) that they are used for canoes and rafts). SO ... basically, the name "silverballi" seems to be about as specific as the term "wood".

As nearly as I can tell, "brown silverballi" is a whole 'nother wood and has its OWN set of confusions since it is a name used for at least three apparently unrelated species (Licaria Canella, Cordia alliodora, and Nectandra globosa) and to further add to the confusion, some of the "brown silverballi" species share other common names with the other silverballi speces. For example, the name kereti spans both sets.

Similarly, "yellow silverballi" is still another set of woods, all in the genus Aniba (specifically, at least Aniba hypoglauca and Aniba Ovalifolia)

I do not contend that the following list is complete, but it was all I could find

Ocotea canaliculata = white silverballi, apici, sawari skin silverballi
Ocotea caudata = dolly pear silverballi, yekoro
Ocotea fasciculata = sawari skin silverballi
Ocotea floribunda = pea's leaf kereti, silverballi
Ocotea glomerata = dolly pear silverballi, lauel negro, apici, baaka, silverballi, kurahara silverballi
Ocotea guianensis = silverleaf kereti, slimy silverballi
Ocotea kanaliculata = silverballi
Ocotea machenheimii = swizzle stick kereti
Ocotea martiniana = silverballi, swizzle stick kereti
Ocotea neesiana = highbush kereti
Ocotea oblonga = kereti, soft kereti, silverballi
Ocotea petalanthera = swizzlestick kereti
Ocotea puberula (syn Ocotea subglabra) = silverballi, kereti silverballi, Apici, kereti Wadili, laurel guaika, guaika, guaica, canela-sebo, canela-parda, canela-de-corvo, canela-pimenta, canela pinho, buaika blanca, guaica, canela guaica, moraja kaspi, keretiballi
ocotea rubra (syn Nectandra rubra) = red silverballi, determa, red louro, red ocotea louro vermelho, puxuri-rana, determa, taparin, bewana, tetroema, wonae, grignon, wane
Ocotea Schomburgkiana = swizzlestick silverballi, yekoro
Ocotea splendens = old lady silverballi
Ocotea wachenheimii = hard kereti, silverballi, apici, black kereti

A (probably incomplete) list of common names is: aguacatillo, apici, ayui-y, baaka, bewana, black kereti, buaika blanca, caneio, canela, canela guaica, canela pinho, canela-de-corvo, canela-parda, canela-pimenta, canela-sebo, caraiou, determa, dolly pear silverballi, grignon, grignon rouge, guaica, guaika, hard kereti, highbush kereti, inamui, kaneel, kereti, kereti silverballi, kereti wadili, keretiballi, kurahara silverballi, lauel negro, laurel, laurel guaika, louro, louro branco, louro vermelho, moraja kaspi, old lady silverballi, pea's leaf kereti, pisi, pisie, preto, puxuri-rana, red louro, red ocotea louro vermelho, red silverballi, sawari skin silverballi, silverballi, silverleaf kereti, slimy silverballi, soft kereti, swizzle stick kereti, swizzlestick kereti, swizzlestick silverballi, taparin, tetroema, wana, wane, white silverballi, wonae, yekoro

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


both sides of a small sample provided to me as silverballi


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of white silverballi / Ocotea canaliculata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This piece is VERY light, to the point of almost feeling like balsa.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

web pics:


plank listed as Ocotea kanaliculata


plank listed as Ocotea spp.


plank listed as dolly pearl silverballi, Ocotea glomera


plank listed as old lady silverballi but with the only botanical designation beling Ocotea spp.


plank listed as pear leaf silverballi but with the only botanical designation being Ocotea spp.


plank listed as slim silverballi but with the only botanical designation beling Ocotea spp.


planks listed as kereti-silverballi


planks listed as red lauro / Ocotea rubra; I am highly dubious about the deep rich color, even if the pieces were moistened for this pic the color seems extreme.