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Virola

Sangre / Virola koschnyi

Local Names
Banak, Bogabaní, Cedro Bastardo, Fruta Dorada, Manteco, Miguelarillo, Mollejo, Palo de Sangre, Sangre Real, Sangredrago, Sebo, Tabeque, Bicuiba, Cumala, Baboen, Camaticaro
Distribution & Tree
Virola is found across all of Central America and through northern South America. It is found in very humid and subtropical areas, particularly along the Atlantic coast. Sangre may reach a height of 40 m with trunk diameters of 120cm. Boles are heavily buttressed, cylindrical, and clear for more than two-thirds of total height.
Wood Appearance
As the wood dries, its heartwood becomes a pinkish golden-brown or deep reddish-brown. The sapwood, a lighter cream color, is not sharply demarcated. Its luster is low to medium with a coarse texture and straight grain.
Processing Properties
Works easily with both hand and machine tools and produces an excellent finish. It glues well and is easy to hammer. It cuts well into veneers and is easy to sand. It was good dimensional stability once properly dried. It has a low silica content around 0.11%. Its workability is similar to Spanish cedar and mahogany.
Strength & Durability
Sangre’s density and hardness are comparable to American elm, Mexican white cedar and Caribbean pine and it can readily be used for light construction. The wood is not resistant to decay and is susceptible to attack by termites and other insects. However, it’s easily treated.
Wood Uses
Sliced veneer and plywood, particle and fiberboard, furniture components, boxes and crates, light construction, general carpentry, interior paneling and other millwork. It is used for doors, windows, and moldings. Sangre can substitute okoume and iloma for plywood.
Ecological & Social Importance
Oil is extracted from seeds of virola for use in soaps and candles.
Reference Species
Technical CharacteristicsVirolaSpanish CedarBig-Leaf Mahogany
Densitykg/m3544448560
Janka Hardnesskgf377184456
Bending Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity)GPa12.49.110.1
Bending Strength (Modulus of Rupture)MPa65.070.880.8
Crushing StrengthMPa37.040.446.6
Shrinkage, Radial%5.4%4.1%2.9%
Shrinkage, Tangential%9.4%6.2%4.3%
Shrinkage, Volumetric%16.3%10.2%7.5%
T/R Ratio1.71.51.5
Values determined at 12% humidity

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
“Propiedades anatómicas, físicas y mecánicas de
93 especies forestales – Ecuador." Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador/MFSCC/FAO. 2004.
“Propiedades y Usos de la Madera de Sangre.” CUPROFOR/ITTO. 1999.
Banak, Virola. Silva Guzmán, José Antonio. 2008. Fichas técnicas sobre características y usos de maderas comercializadas en México. Tomo II. Comisión Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR). Guadalajara,
Jalisco. México 8.
Blanco Flórez, J. "Caracterización de las 30 Especies Forestales maderables más Movilizadas en Colombia Provenientes del Bosque Natural." Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible. 2020
Cumala. "Maderas de Colombia." GFTN. WWF
Cumala. "Maderas del Peru", Promdex/WWF/USAID/INIA
Dalli. "Lesser Used Timber Species of Guyana." Itto/Guyana Forestry Commission.
David H., et al. 2014. "Guía Ilustrada Flora Cañón del río Porce, Antioquia." EPM E.S.P. Universidad de Antioquia, Herbario Universidad de
Antioquia - Medellín, Colombia.
FSC Denmark. Lesser Known Timber Species.
Gutiérrez Pacheco, L. "Como elegir maderas según los usos en arquitectura y construcción." Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego.
Laboratorio de Ecologia de Poblaciones y Comunidades Tropicales, UNAM
Oshiro Chinen, M. FICHA ESTÁNDAR N° 107, FAMILIA 20720029 MADERA CUMALA. FICHA ESTÁNDAR DE FAMILIA DEL CATÁLOGO DE BIENES, SERVICIOS Y OBRAS DEL MEF. 2016.
Sebo. "Guía de Especies Forestales de Nicaragua." Orgut Consulting AB. MARENA/INAFOR. 2002
Soto-Virola. Laboratorio de Productos Forestales. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 2018.
Virola koschnyi. Cordero, J. Boshier, D. "Arboles de Centroamerica: Un manual para extensionistas." Oxford/Catie. 2003
Virola koschnyi. Vozzo JA. (ed) "Manual de Semilas de Arboles Tropicales." 2010.
Virola sebifera. ITTO Lesser Used Species.
Virola spp. Data Sheets. “The main technological characteristics of 245 tropical wood species.” Tropix 7. CIRAD.
Virola surinamensis. ITTO Lesser Used Species.
Virola. "Maderas de Putumayo: Fichas tecnicas para la identificacion de especies maderables de Colombia." GFTN. WWF
Virola. Data Sheets. “The main technological characteristics of 245 tropical wood species.” Tropix 7. CIRAD.
Virola. Vignote Peña "Principales Maderas Tropicales Utilizadas en España." Universidad Politécnica de Madrid