Hard, heavy, durable sucupira is an ideal wood for flooring.
Bowdichia nitida, Bowdichia virgilioides, Diplotropis purpurea and Diplotropis racemosa of the Family Fabaceae (Leguminosae).
Sucupira, black sucupira, sacupira preta, sacupira amarela, sapupira, coeur dehors, acapa, alcornoque, armoteak, aramatia, aramatta, botonallare, peonia, tatabu and zwarte kabbes.
The height varies widely, according to location. Trees (Bowdichia species) on favorable sites average from medium to tall, up to 150 feet, with 4-foot diameters. Diplotropis species average heights of 90 to 100 feet. The average weight range is from 58 to 62 pounds per cubic foot for all species.
Difficult to dry. Experts recommend a slow drying schedule to avoid
problems with cupping and checking.
Hard, heavy, dense wood that is very durable.
Heartwood is very durable to insect attack as well as white rot and brown rot fungi.
Wood’s extreme hardness can pose problems in working, such as resistance when cutting and blunting to cutting surfaces. Wood turns and glues well.
Grain usually straight to interlocked or slightly wavy.
Wood often has a golden luster and sometimes a waxy appearance. No
distinctive odor or taste.
South American hardwood sucupira’s fan base is far from universal. People who like the wood praise it for its great strength and outstanding durability. Sucupira’s across-the-board strength properties puts it near the top in ratings, almost as strong as greenheart. The wood loses points though for being hard to dry and difficult to work. It will cup and check during the kiln process unless extreme care is taken, along with a slow drying schedule. Interlocked grain makes for problems when cutting or planing the wood.
In the looks department, the reviews are equally mixed. Sucupira has been described as a “boring, muddy-brown wood” by some, while others describe it as a “lustrous chocolate brown with interesting golden striping.”
Sucupira is native to South America, primarily in Brazil and Venezuela, but also is found in Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana. In its natural setting, the wood is popular for a variety of uses, especially structural purposes and flooring. The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory’s Handbook, Tropical Timbers of the World, lists its uses as heavy construction work, boat building, flooring, furniture components, turnery, railroad crossties and tool handles.
World Woods in Color author William A. Lincoln writes that sucupira is excellent for domestic flooring. “It is too heavy for plywood manufacture, but selected logs are sliced for strikingly attractive, decorative veneers, used for inlay in furniture, doors and paneling.”