Common Name: Wamara
Swartzia leiocalycina is a tree with a small crown; it can grow up to 33 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be flat or somewhat flanged in shape with low buttresses. It can be 40 - 50cm in diameter, exceptionally to 70cm and can be unbranched for up to 20 metres[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood, known as 'Coraçao de Negro', which is reputed to be one of the most beautiful woods of the Amazon Valley and is commonly exported[
The sawdust from wood of plants in this genus can be irritating to mill workers[
Northern S. America - Guyana.
A canopy tree, frequent to dominant in the seasonal forest and occasional to frequent in the rainforest[
]. Found in more than one type of forest but grows mainly in mixed rain forests[
|Other Uses Rating
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[
Heartwood is only found in the largest trees. It varies from a chocolate brown to a pale reddish purple or purplish brown, occasionally marked by dark olive or purplish-brown coloured stripes[ it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 8cm wide band of white sapwood. The texture is very fine; lustre good; the grain generally straight but may be variable; odour or taste is not distinctive in dry wood. The wood is extremely heavy, very dense, very hard, compact, very strong, and resilient. The heartwood is generally reported to be very resistant to decay, but the sapwood, which makes up the bulk of the lumber produced, is not durable. The wood is rated resistant to damage by the dry-wood termite. It seasons slowly, with a high risk of checking but only a slight risk of distortion; once dry it is poorly to moderately stable in service. It is variously reported as being very difficult to moderately difficult to work with either hand or machine tools, for it is a hard, high-density wood. But there is general agreement that the wood finishes smoothly, turns very satisfactorily (as do many other very dense woods), it does not take stains well but polishes to a good sheen. It takes nails and badly unless the wood is prebored; gluing properties are poor. The heartwood is one of the most attractive woods on the export market, it is used for high quality purposes such as furniture, cabinet making, inlay, walking sticks, bagpipes, parquet flooring, and bows, and is recommended as a substitute for ebony for it polishes to a high lustre. The whitish sapwood is used in some localities for implement frames and spokes of wheels; the heartwood for posts, articles of turnery, furniture, cabinetwork, and heavy and durable construction. The sapwood has been recommended as a substitute for hickory (Carya) for those purposes requiring very strong, tough, and resilient material[
]. The wood should be well fitted for many other uses requiring a heavy, hard wood having high bending and compression strength, abrasion resistance, and durability[
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