Canary Wood is a strong exotic wood from Panama to Southern Brazil that because of its stiffness delivers a medium high tone.
This intriguing wood is dull brown when freshly cut, then rapidly changes to a bright, vibrant purple. Exposure to air darkens the wood to a dark-purplish brown, eventually turning it dark brown.
This rare wood exhibits a medium to high luster. Canary Wood is noted for its usually pale yellowish-orange color sometimes accented with rich red streaks which form a "rainbow hue."
Bone Rattling Facts
Canary Wood offers excellent acoustical properties for musical instruments and loudspeaker enclosures. It is a hard, heavy and strong material well suited for hand-held musical instruments because it is impervious to liquids and rated highly resistant to attacks from decay, fungi and insects.
Being impervious to liquid, Canary Wood was used by coopers to make barrels. The U.S. Forest Service lists Canary Wood under the botanical name Centrolobium which is of the family Leguminosae - which means Canary Wood is a member of the legume or pea family. In fact, "it has pods with seeds," reports noted wood expert Gene "Wood Doctor" Wengert, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, adding, "It looks somewhat like the maple seed and its wing."
Figures below are approximate (but pretty darn close)
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Canary Wood Facts
Centrolobium microchaete (aka: Centrolobium ochroxylon, Centrolobium paraense, Euxylophora paraensis)
According to Professor Wengert, "Canary wood is known by more than 40 common names...all the various species that are sold as Canary Wood...are so similar in appearance and properties that they can be safely lumped together."
Amarillo guayaquil (Panama, Ecuador)
Ararauba, Ararauva (Brazil)
Balaustre (Colombia, Venezuela)
Vinhatico de espinho
Vinhatico de macaco
The grain has a medium texture and small pores. It is typically straight, but can be irregular or wiggly on some pieces.
The texture varies from fine to coarse. Canary Wood is easy to work with hand or power tools. It sands, glues and takes a finish well.
Yellowish Orange (banana caramel ripple)
The heartwood is usually a pale yellowish-orange, sometimes with rich red streaks forming a "rainbow hue" that can eventually darken and change to brown with age.
The rather sharply demarcated sapwood varies from white to yellow.
The U.S. Forest Service reports that some species are without odor or taste, while other species exhibit a distinctive odor and sometimes a perceptive taste.
Vulnerable in parts of its natural habitat. The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) reports that Canary Wood is a fairly important source of timber and is frequently exported.
Grows almost exclusively in dry land areas of Brazil's Para State in the lower Amazon. The U.S. Forest Service reports that five or six species of rather infrequent occurrence grow from Panama to Ecuador and southern Brazil.
Typically 40 feet tall and around 16 inches in diameter. Mature trees can exceed a height of 100 feet with a diameter of 4 feet or more.