SUCUPIRA

BOTANICAL NAME: Species that have sucupira as all or part of one or more of their common names include at least the following (along with a few of their common names, out of many):

Andira coriacea --- sucupira vermelha, red cabbage, andira
Andira parviflora --- sucupira vermelha, red cabbage, andira
Bowdichia nitida --- sucupira, black cabbage, sucupira amarella
Bowdichia virgilioides --- sucupira, sucupira with various qualifiers
Diplotropis brasiliensis --- sucupira [this is the only common name I have for this species]
Diplotropis incexis --- sucupira acu, sucupira do cerrad
Diplotropis martiusii --- sucupira, black cabbage, chontaguiro
Diplotropis nitida --- sucupira, acapu
Diplotropis purpurea --- sucupira, black cabbage, tatabue
Diplotropis racemosa --- sucupira, sucupira parda
Diptotropis purpurea --- sucupira [this is the only common name I have for this species]

The discussion that follows covers at least Diplotropis purpurea and Bowdichia nitida which I have samples of and can see that they have pretty much identical characteristics despite not even being in the same genus. It may also apply to some of the others, but I doubt if it applies to all of them.

AND ... there are another dozen species, all of different genera, which also have sucupira as all or part of one or more of their common names

COMMON NAMES: listing all of the common names of all of the species listed above would be just silly.

TYPE: hardwood

COLOR: Freshly cut heartwood is generally chocolate brown, sometimes reddish, turning to a lighter brown when dry, occasionally grayish brown, with fine lighter parenchyma stripes. Sometimes has a somewhat waxy look. Sapwood is White to yellow and well demarcated.

GRAIN: grain usually straight to slightly interlocked or slightly wavy. Several reports say it has a "very fine silver figure" but I have no idea what that means and the small amount I've seen of this wood has exhibited no such artifact.

TEXTURE: reports vary from medium to coarse, my experience is on the coarse side. Luster is medium to high and golden, often with a waxy look.

PROPERTIES / WORKABILITY: Hard, fairly heavy wood, sometimes siliceous, with working qualities for both machine and hand tools, with moderate blunting effect and moderate cutting resistance. Sands pretty easily but surfaces are rated as only fair to poor because of coarse texture and irregular grain, which also makes planing somewhat difficult. Nailing screwing reported as pretty easy, but pre-boring is recommended. Turning and carving are reported as fairly easy, mortising, boring, moulding, routing, etc are reported as moderately easy. Gluing is fairly difficult to very difficult

DURABILITY: all reports agree it is susceptible to marine borer attack, but on the issue of resistance to termites, some reports say it is very resistant, others that it has poor resistance. One report says resistant to fungi. Some reports say it responds poorly to preservative treatment, others that penetration of preservative solutions is adequate especially if there is good end-grain exposure.

FINISH: General finishing qualities are rated as moderate to good although a filler is sometimes required, but it does not take varnish well. If filled, it polishes well. Reports are mixed on how well it takes paint, with some saying good some poor. The luster is medium to high, often with a waxy feel.

STABILITY: medium to large movement in service

BENDING: steam bending properties fairly good, sometimes with exudation of resin

ODOR: no distinct odor or taste

SOURCES: Central and Latin America, including: Brazil, Colombia, French guiana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela

USES: agricultural implements, bent parts, boat building (general), bridge construction, brush backs & handles, building construction, building materials, cabin construction, cabinetmaking, canoes, chairs, chests, construction, crossties, desks, dining-room furniture, domestic flooring, door, drawer sides, factory construction, factory flooring, fine furniture, flooring, furniture, furniture components, furniture squares or stock, handles, hatracks, heavy construction, interior trim, joinery, kitchen cabinets, lifeboats, light construction, living-room suites, marine construction, millwork, mine timbers, moldings, office furniture, paneling, parquet flooring, piling, poles, posts, radio - stereo - tv cabinets, railroad crossties, railroad ties, rustic furniture, shafts and handles, shafts/handles, shipbuilding, stairworks, stools, structural work, sub-flooring, tool handles, turnery, utility furniture, vehicle parts, veneer: decorative, wardrobes, wheel spokes, wheels,

TREE: heights reach 90 to 100 feet with a trunk diameter of 16 to 24 inches, often with well formed and straight stems that are free of branches for 60 to 70 feet

WEIGHT: reports range from 50 t0 75 pounds per cubic foot but I think the low end of that range is suspect

DRYING: moderately difficult to air dry and rapid drying results in some checking and warping. Considerable checking and warping will occur in kiln-drying unless a mild schedule is used. Sometimes resin exudation will occur during drying.

AVAILABILITY: rare

COST:

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The wood is reported to be similar to the African species, Wenge (Millettia laurenti ) in many mechanical properties. It is reported to be superior to hickory (Carya ) and White oak (Quercus alba ).