Family: Fabaceae, The Pea Family
Origin: Northern South America and parts of Central America.
Other Common Names: Brazilian Teak, Kumaru, Golden Teak, Brazilian Chestnut.
The Tree: The Average height of the tree is 130-160 feet tall with a 3-5 feet trunk diameter. The tree bark is smooth and gray. The leaves of the Cumaru tree are alternate pinnate leaves with three to six leaflets, leathery, glossy with dark green and pink flowers.
Appearance: Cumaru wood has an irregular, somewhat interlocked grain with a wavy coarse texture. Heartwood color is a medium to dark brown with a reddish or purplish hue. Some pieces have been known to have streaks of yellowish or greenish brown.
Density: Average reported specific gravity (oven-dry weight/ green volume) ranges from .86 to 1.09. Cumaru has an average dry weight of 67 pounds per cubic foot. Janka hardness is 3,200 pounds.
Drying and Shrinkage: Cumaru hardwood is very unstable when used in dry climates and is prone to shrinkage. It is naturally seasoned, and kiln-dried to prevent shrinkage. This hardwood has been known to check and warp.
Working Properties: Cumaru is known to be difficult to saw or bore. Due to its high density, interlocked grain, and oily nature, it is poor for gluing. If the grain itself is not too interlocked, Cumaru can be surface planed to a smooth finish.
Durability: Heartwood has excellent durability and weathering properties. Decay resistant with good resistance to termites and other dry wood borers.
Uses: Cumaru lumber can be used for flooring, cabinetry, furniture, heavy construction, docks, railroad ties, bearings, handles, and other turned objects. This lumber also finishes well. It can be used whenever non-resistance and good weathering are needed.
Availability: The species is not listed in the CITES Appendices and is reported by the ICUN as being “a species of least concern”. An inexpensive import. Availability remains positive and remains a popular well-stocked product.