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Ziricote Cordia dodecandra

Though it combines the appearance and texture of the best walnut with that of the best rosewood, ziricote is not widely used, possibly because it is expensive and in limited supply. It has a rich dark brown color, with irregular thin, wavy black lines, It can be a large, dominant tree but it is rot found in one particular area, and is often stunted, hence the restricted supply.

Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Sericote, ziracote
Alternatives European oak (Quercus robur)
Sources Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala
Color Rich dark brown with thin black lines. Some silvery flecking where rays are randomly revealed.
Texture Fine to medium and even
Grain Straightlsh, with slight wave
Hardness Very hard
Weight Heavy (c. 55 Ib./cm ft.) (880 kg/cu. m)
Strength Strong
Seasoning and stability Difficult to season, with risk of surface checking, but very stable once dry.
Wastage Should be relatively low, especially when contrasting white sapwood is integrated into a project.
Range of board widths Wide boards should be available, as the tree grows up to 30 inches in diameter.
Range of board thicknesses May be limited by restricted supply.
Durability Moderate

Best quartersawn to reveal the black wavy lines. Buy quartersawn veneer if it is available.

It is very difficult to establish the status of a lumber like ziricote, as it grows randomly and is not exploited in the quantities of, say, West Indian cedar. There is an argument that buying rare species like ziricote benefits local economies and puts a value on trees that might otherwise be felled for land. You are unlikely to find certified ziricote.

Only available from specialist importers, and very expensive.

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Updated: 12/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft