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CHAPERNO

Chaperno / Lonchocarpus rugosus

Local Names
Matabuy, Arripín, Canasín, Masicarán, Chapulaltapa, Dogwood, Jabín, Habín, Palo de Gusano, Carao.
Distribution & Tree

Found along streambanks, tropical woodland and subdeciduous forest below 1,400 meters, chaperno is native to Guatemala, southern Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. It’s is closely related to the better-known manchiche (L. castilloi) but is somewhat shorter, usually not exceeding 15 meters. Its reddish-purple flowers blossom from June to July.

Wood Appearance
Heartwood is yellowish-brown to dark reddish-brown, striped with fine laminations of a lighter color and a sharply demarcated sapwood. Texture is coarse, grain straight to irregular or interlocked. Luster is low to medium.
Processing Properties
This high-quality wood is fairly easy to saw and works with smooth planing.
Strength & Durability

The wood is heavy, durable and strong with hardness ratings similar to cedrillo (Guarea spp) and santamaria (Calophyllus brasiliense).

Wood Uses
General construction, axles, pilings, tool handles, flooring, furniture components and crossties.
Ecological & Social Importance

Traditionally, a purple dye was extracted from its bark used to color textiles. An intoxicating beverage, known as pitarrilla, is produced from the closely-related balché (L. longistylus) whereby the bark is soaked in water with honey or sugar and fermented. Taken by the Lacandon people of Peten, the milky-white drink has low levels of alcohol.

Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsChapernoBlack MapleTeak
Densitykg/m3670640624
Janka Hardnesskgf533535500
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa15.311.213.7
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa108.791.797.1
Crushing StrengthMPa48.546.154.8
Shrinkage, Radial%4.8%2.6%
Shrinkage, Tangential%9.3%5.3%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%14.0%7.2%
T/R Ratio1.92.0
Values determined at 12% humidity - Provided for reference only

DENSITY

JANKA HARDNESS

BENDING STIFFNESS

BENDING STRENGTH

CRUSHING STRENGTH

SHRINKAGE

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
“Investigación e Ingeniería de la Madera.” Revista del Laboratorio de Mecánica de la Madera. Volumen 10, Número 3, Diciembre 2014.
Carao Macho. Área de Conservación Guanacaste. Fuente de Vida y Desarrollo.
Excerpts from Jim Conrad's Naturalist Newsletter. BackyardNature.net
HABÍN Lonchocarpus guatemalensis. FICHAS DE PROPAGACIÓN DE ÁRBOLES CLAVE PARA LA RESTAURACIÓN. Red Viveros.
Habín. "Catálogo de Arboles." Red de Viveros de Biodiversidad.
Little, E. Wadsworth, F. "Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands." USDA Forest Service. July 1964.
Lonchocarpus rugosus. iNaturalist.ca
Lonchocarpus rugosus. Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern.
Lonchocarpus rugosus. Vozzo, J.A. (ed) "Manual de Semilas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Standley, PC. Williams, LO. Gibson, DN. "Flora of Guatemala." Volume 24. Field Museum of Natural History. 1974.