Virola merendonis Pittier
Virola koschnyi is a tree with a flat crown, sometimes growing up to 40 metres tall, though usually smaller. The cylindrical bole, which usually has small buttresses and is free of branches for most of its length, can be 125cm in diameter[
The tree produces a timber that has often been exported for making plywood.
Central America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala.
Wet forests at elevations of 300 metres or less[
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A plant of low elevations in the moist tropics.
Found in the wild on a wide range of soils[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
The seeds are rich in oil[
]. It is used for making candles and soap[
Cut or damaged trees exude a blood-red, watery latex that is similar to the kino of commerce[
When freshly cut, the heartwood and sapwood are indistinguishable; both having the same cream to tan colour. The heartwood darkens on exposure and drying, however, becoming a pinkish, golden brown, or deep reddish brown[
]. The grain is straight; texture medium to coarse; the lustre low; and, when seasoned, it has no characteristic odour or taste. The wood works easily and very satisfactorily. It cuts easily with hand and power saws and a good surface is obtained with jack and smoothing planes, both along and across the grain. Good clear holes are readily obtained with brad, awl, gimlet, centre bit, and twist drill, without tendency to split. Nails and screws can be driven into the woods easily without, splitting it and hold fairly well. It cuts with facility in a mortising machine and works easily with gouge and chisel. The wood turns satisfactorily, though the fibres tear slightly, and a good finish is obtainable. It absorbs glue well, can be stained without difficulty to resemble mahogany fairly well and gives satisfactory results in polishing and varnishing. It holds its place when manufactured, does not warp or check, and is free from many knots and other defects. The wood is not resistant to decay, is very susceptible to attack by termites and other insects, and has little resistance to marine borers[
]. The wood is mainly used for plywood, but is also suitable in lumber form for many uses that require a light, easily worked, nondurable timber including the manufacture of boxes, crates, cigar boxes, coffins, matches, and matchboxes. In some areas of the Caribbean, the wood is rapidly replacing mahogany plywood in the manufacture of furniture, millwork, cabinet work, and for panelling and other decorative uses[
]. The wood is also suitable for pulping to make paper[
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