Marblewood (Marmaroxylon racemosum)

Marblewood (Zygia racemosum)

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Common Name(s): Marblewood, Angelim Rajado

Scientific Name: Zygia racemosum (syn. Marmaroxylon racemosum)

Distribution: Northeastern South America

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2 ft (.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 63 lbs/ft3 (1,005 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .77, 1.00

Janka Hardness: 2,530 lbf (11,250 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 22,780 lbf/in2 (157.1 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,818,000 lbf/in2 (19.43 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 10,990 lbf/in2 (75.8 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.5%, Tangential: 9.8%, Volumetric: 15.0%, T/R Ratio: 1.8

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a yellow to golden brown, with irregular brown, purple, or black streaks. Sapwood is paler than heartwood, and is a solid yellowish color lacking contrasting streaks: usually up to about 1″ thick.

Grain/Texture: Grain tends to be straight or slightly interlocked; texture is medium with open pores.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; yellowish deposits in pores abundant; growth rings indistinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged and lozenge), and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable to very durable regarding decay resistance, with moderate resistance to insect attack.

Workability: Tends to be difficult to work on account of its high density. Marblewood can have a moderate to severe blunting effect on tool cutters. Glues, turns, and finishes well—though there is a high risk of checking and resin exudation during drying.

Odor: Marblewood can have a distinctive—though usually faint—scent while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: There have been no known adverse health effects associated with Marblewood. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Marblewood prices tend to be in the mid to upper range for an imported exotic hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, sliced veneer, turned objects, cabinetry, and fine furniture.

Comments: The high contrast between the golden body and the much darker streaks give it an appearance somewhat similar to natural marble, hence the common name of “Marblewood” for this species. Marblewood’s overall appearance is very similar to Zebrawood, though Marblewood tends to have a slightly finer texture.

Related Species:

Scans/Pictures:

Marblewood (Marmaroxylon racemosum)

Marblewood (sanded)

Marblewood (sealed)

Marblewood (sealed)

Marblewood (endgrain)

Marblewood (endgrain)

Marblewood (endgrain 10x)

Marblewood (endgrain 10x)

Marblewood, Yellowheart, and Mahogany (turned)

Marblewood, Yellowheart, and Mahogany (turned)