Imbuia, embuia, or "Brazilian walnut"


Material Information

Imbuia, embuia, or "Brazilian walnut" Phoebe porosa (Nees and Mart.) Mez., family Lauraceae
Series Title:
Report ;
At head of title:
Information leaflet, foreign woods
Physical Description:
5 p. : ; 26 cm.
Gerry, Eloise, b. 1885
Forest Products Laboratory (U.S.)
University of Wisconsin
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
Place of Publication:
Madison, Wis
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Lauraceae   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (p. 4-5).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Eloise Gerry.
General Note:
Caption title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029197694
oclc - 231636159
System ID:

Full Text

irRyT*.T1TDI1 LE -I.- T
2'-12 LrORIGiJ i:OOL;S
-"c .orest 'rodht.i i Aratoir,- '.re t .eri;.ce
,T ---. L.u, artint ur ..jric',iture

I iB UIAA F.,.'T, OR B-'.LIL.rdr .. "'
Phoebe p.orosa (lecc a1.d nhrt.) A;ez.
'.'a 1ily: Laur,. .c c


ELOI2S G'j_ Forest Yroducts Tec--,xologi6t
-s ion of Silvi cultural Rel',itions

There are about ,5 s-,eces of ti.e gerus 'cece. Some occur in t c Ea t
Indies, China, end";ra, b't most of t' cL are fou'iJ in troical i'.erica
from the West Indies and Sjuthern .'c::co s,-ut .'ard t' rou-. C'-.tral
America and tihe ,.ndes to r ?nt-'.nve anrid Brazil.

The most important species is ii1.ebe porose (formerly imoin as_.cctLndra
s^, and as Oreodal hnu .norcsa L.'ee-) of soutL' em ..ra:Zil (7, ii).- L
grows in thie Araicaria forests of .aranc ar. .)anta Catarir "a, L.ost!y at
altitudes of 2,jX, to 4,C j feet, and may forr.i atout -,crccrnt of t'.c
stand (12). Tlhe wcod of P7oebe .1crosa is .ncim cor.:crcially c- iLbuia,
embuia, or "Brazilian wiln't,_'

"The Tree

Trees of tVe s-7ecies P7io eb poro_ a grow to 1i0 feet in\.t and ur to
u feet or mere in diameter.
U-iaintained at Madison, "*is, in coo-eration with t.e University of
-Underlined numbers in parent.eses refer to th-.e list of numbered
references at the end of the article,

.'. ri ulture-,adison

Report No. 10924

They have evergreen leaves, but most of the old leaves are shed as the
new leaves appear. On the underside of the leaves, in the axils of the
veins, are little two-lipped pockets (domatia), which are inhabited by
minute insect parasites (10, 12).

The Wood


The color of the wood varies from yellowish to olive or rich chocolate
brown. It is said that material can be selected to match any shade
found in black walnut grown in the United States (12). It is further
reported that the yellowish wood comes from young trees or trees grown
in sheltered places and the "black" form from older, isolated trees ( ).


The specific gravity of the air-dry wood is reported as 0.595 to 0.76,
and the average weight as about 43 to 47 pounds per cubic foot (Q 12).

Mechanical Properties

Strength tests have been made at the Institute de Tecnologicas, Sao
Paulo, Brazil, but are reported2 in units not directly comparable to the
United States standard tests.

Figure, Grain, Texture, and Luster

The stock is mostly straight-grained, but curly and vavy grain may be
found. Some trees in exposed locations may have markedly cont-orted or
gnarled grain (5). The wood may be plain in color or markedly variegated
and has rather fine texture and a medium luster (22),


The freshly cut wood has a spicy, cinnamon-like, resinous taste and scent,
which are generally lacking in dried material.


The wood is considered as durable locally. Railway ties are reported to
have lasted 10 to 20 years in service in Brazil.

!Institute de Tecnologicas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Bulletin No. 51, 1945.

Report No. R1924



The wood is moderately 1'ard and hec.v-., and i.s conzi,-ierer, caiL:- to dry, to worth,
and to rJluc, It tah;es a 1i.!l: i'olis. and .as n o -,d dimen-sional Lta'iljit' y V:-

A fine dust may arise during the sairin,: of imbuia is Jrrlt.t'nL to s-LME
workmen and may cnuSe temorary titi (8, 12, ).


Imbuia is used in bot!. solid and veneer formn. In Brazil, it is use. for
high-grade flooring, furniture, interior trim, doors, ,pianos, ruiuio ca.ninet:,
and fixtures, Phoebe trees L:ror to sizes that 'crrit the rrcdi.tto.i 01of
thick ,lan!: for wc.ud carvin- ani material for table trusses an6 Cir 1,:s
(12). Imbuuia has been r
As veneer, imbuia is rated in Europe for fine Purniture and interior
work. It is trarheted as: 1. L'-':t, Yell, or c'.-ra -- a yellc'uris. brown
in various tones with s*.,'.rl'-is ari- stride.-.e 2. T.r:, dC'Lrel, cr escura --
a broim background with r:cdi:z'--l.,"l cl:; 5. :xtr.. or o.)tira -- t:e
finest quality in broim and rud-bromn tones within wave and cloud effects (4).

Cne species of Fhozhe yields a violet-colci,*d dye from saw-dust and bark.
This dye is s)eciaily pr-.ed for use on fine


The ve,,od cas been i_:-orlc into the United E+. tc+ in rel.tlvely srrall
amou. as :rcll a- into 4roer;. Local d:r.;.,dz for it in -ra:'l are ii-t,
restricting export.

Minute Stri.: ture

Cro-rt nin.--G-rc'4r.'. rir.n-s are usu.-lly distinct owinT to differences in i ".

Pores,--Tie -..ores are srr-_, barely visible, numerous, and uniformly dis-

Tloses.--Tyloses are

Vess r17,.--VcCssels .ave simple perforations.

iavs.--The rays are very fine, mostly biser'.ate (10).

Fibers,--The fibers are septate.

Oil cells--O cells occur in the rays, as well as in the paren:nyrma
strands (, ).

Report No. d1924


List of References

1. Allen, Caroline K.
1,45. Studies of the Lauraceae VI. Preliminaryj Survey of the
Miexican and Central American Species (Key). Jour.
..mold Arboretum, Vol. 26, ilos. 3-4, pp. 2C0-434.

2. Brazilian Government Trade Bureau.
1946. Timber in Brazil. p. 6. ITew York.

53. Chevalier, Aug.
1928. Sur 1' origine du bois d'imbuia du Bresil et sur la biologie
de l'arbre producteur, le FPoebe porosa i*!ez. de la
famille des Lauracees. Cormtcs Rendus des Seances de
l'Academie des Sciences (Paris). Vol. 187, p. 1155.

4. Eer-ert, P.
1931. Uses of Imbuya Veneers in AL rope. Tropical Woods No. 26,
pp. 10-11 (Grades).

5. Hoehne, F. C.
1930. Araucarilandia. Sec. da Agr., Indus. e Cornm. do Estado de
Sao Paulo (Brazil). 152 pp. Illus. (Piysical properties).
(Tropical Woods No. 28, pp. 27-28, 1951.)

6. Horn, E. F.
1913. Properties and Uses of Some of the More Important Woods Grown
in Brazil. Forest Products Laboratory Report i1o. 85,
pp. 10-11.

7. ribs, David A.
1950. Commercial Foreign Woods on the American Market. Pub. by
author, Dept. of Botany, State College, Pa. p. 80. Illus.

8. Lamb, G. N.
1;-46. Imbuia. Wood Products, Vol. 54, ho. 8, p. 28.

9. Milanez, F. P.
1930. A estructura do lenho da embuia. Service de Informacoes,
Min. da Agr. Ind. e Cora. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
12 pp. Illus. (Structure) (Troiical Woods ho. 23,
p. 29, 1930.)

10. PRccord, S. J.
1929. Walnut Too-.s True and False. Tropical Woods Ho. 13,
pp. 4-29 (17-20).

11. anld ess, E. U.
1942. American Tirfoecrs of toe Family Lauraceae.
Tropical Woods 1o. 69, pp. 7-33 (23-30).

Report iTo. P1924


12. Record, S. J. and, R. I.
1'53. Timers o0' the Hcw Jorld. n. I)-l .
Ynal1 University Ircss, Nev IT'.von, 'A-in.

13. Tu, rer, W. W.
1)27. A C)rinratJvc 2tudy of Laurace'jus
Vol. 14, No. 9, 2-2..
r_,, 57- ).

Woods. A: r, Jour. T-t.,
(Tr-''Lical Wo1..3. ,. i5,

14. U. S. Public :'calth -orvice
lt'1. Public i1icalth Feports, Vol. 46, I:o. 33, p.. i1.-5-1h.

15. Woods, R. P.
1049. Timbers of Souti -'Mcrica. p. 2C. TimILeir L-v..'n., Ltd.,

Report No. R1924



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