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Useful Tropical Plants

Zygia racemosa

(Ducke) Barneby & J.W.Grimes

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Abarema racemosa (Ducke) Kleinhoonte

Marmaroxylon racemosum (Ducke) Killip ex Record

Pithecellobium racemosum Ducke

Common Name: Marblewood

Zygia racemosa
A bowl made from the wood
Photograph by: Unknown
Creative Commons License

General Information

Marblewood is a tree growing up to 30 metres tall[
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
]. The straight, cylindrical bole is unbuttressed but basally swollen. It can be unbranched for up to 18 metres, exceptionally to 24 metres, and 40 - 50cm in diameter, exceptionally to 60cm[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].
Marblewood is an attractive wood that is highly valued in some areas. It is harvested from the wild for local use and for export.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.

Range

S. America - Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, the Guyanas.

Habitat

Rain forests, especially on slopes[
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
]. Drier sites in the upland rain forests and seasonal forests[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height25.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



There are conflicting reports on whether or not this tree has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, so it is unclear as to whether this tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The heartwood is light yellow to orange-brown, overlaid with characteristic large, irregular purplish-brown and occasionally black streaks and patches; it is not clearly demarcated from the 2 - 3cm wide band of yellowish sapwood. The markings on the wood, being darker than the yellowish background, give it a distinctive and unique beauty. The texture is medium to coarse, the grain straight to slightly interlocked, sometimes wavy; the lustre low to medium; no distinctive odour or taste are evident in seasoned wood. The wood is very heavy, very hard; strong; elastic; moderately durable, being moderately resistant to fungi, resistant to termites, but susceptible to dry wood borers. It is somewhat slow to season, with a high risk of checking but only a low risk of distortion; once dry it is poorly stable in service. It is difficult to work with either hand or machine tools because of its high density and blunting effect; stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide cutting tools are recommended; it is reported to finish smoothly and to take an exceptionally fine polish; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing needs to be done with care because of the density of the wood but is correct for internal use. Although the wood possesses good strength, it appears that, its highest use is for furniture, cabinet making, turning, joinery, marquetry, flooring, and decorative panels, as these uses can best capitalize on the wood’s unique attractiveness. It is also used for heavy and durable construction and for wheelwright work in French Guiana and Brazil, despite the timber’ s moderate strength properties and high value. The wood also seems suitable for cutlery handles, novelties, and for other special uses requiring a hard, heavy wood of unusual appearance[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
,
848
Title
Tropix 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tropix.cirad.fr/en
Publisher
CIRAD
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line guide to the timbers of 245 species of trees.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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