Eperua schomburgkiana is an evergreen shrub or tree with a light, rounded or oval crown; it can grow from 5 - 36 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole is basally swollen or has low buttresses; it can be unbranched for 12 - 18 metres and up to 80cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber, which is used locally and also exported.
Northern S. America - Guyana, Surinam.
Riverine forest on sandy soils[
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Found in the wild in acid, white sandy soils[
The trees make rather rapid growth, but develop heart rots at a fairly early age[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
A process patented in England isolates the resin from the wood, this resin is then reacted with aldehydes in situ to form thermoplastic or thermosetting resins, giving a cheap molding powder. This promises the development of a wet-forming or dry-forming process for making fibreboard from the wood[
The heartwood is red or reddish-purple; it is clearly demarcated from the 2 - 5cm thick band of dirty white or gray coloured, resin-streaked sapwood[
]. The grain is uniformly straight; the texture medium to coarse; not lustrous, although quarter-sawn lumber shows a pleasing fleck as a result of resinous deposits; it is tasteless and is either odourless or has a slight odour described as rancid, sour, or like creosote by different observers. The wood is hard, heavy, stiff, strong, durable to very durable in the soil[
]. Although it is hard, the wood works easily with machine and hand tools except that gum collects on the cutting edges of the tools[
]. It polishes reasonably well after filling; stains readily with both oil and spirit stains; turns well; it usually splits straight and clean; but does not take nails satisfactorily[
]. The wood is exceptionally well suited for use as transmission poles, flagpoles, and posts. Its good strength and durability qualify the timber for railway ties, shoring, bridge timbers, and mine timbers. In building construction it is used for foundations, sills, joists, framing, roofing, siding, and veranda posts. The high resin content of the wood makes it an excellent flooring material in chemical factories, mills, and warehouses[
The wood has a relatively high calorific value as fuel wood or charcoal, oven dry heartwood having a value of 9,260 BTU. and sapwood 8,980 BTU. as compared to 12,000 BTU. for coal. Charcoal made from the wood has a calorific value of 13,200 to 13,800 BTU. (7,300 calories) per pound[
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