English name: Balsamo
Latin name: Myroxylon balsamum
Other name(s): Santos Mahogany, Cabreuva
Features: There is a fair degree of color variation between boards of Balsamo, ranging from a lighter golden brown to a darker purplish red or burgundy. The color tends to turn more red/purple with age. Quartersawn sections can show a striped or ribbon pattern.
Trees and distribution: Large trees, up to 20m, more than 0.6m in diameter, distributed in Southern Mexico and Central and South America.
Material: Grain is usually interlocked, with a medium to fine texture. Good natural luster. Rated as very durable in regards to decay resistance, with mixed reports on susceptibility to insect attack. Balsamo has a noticeable blunting effect on cutting edges. Working characteristics are rated as fair to poor, on account of both its density and its interlocked grain. Staining or gluing can sometimes be problematic, though the wood finishes well. Balsamo has a very distinctive spicy scent when being worked. Trees from the Myroxylon genus are used to make Balsam of Peru, an ingredient used in perfumes.
Applications: Flooring, furniture, interior trim, and heavy construction.