Common Name(s): Primavera, Prima Vera
Scientific Name: Roseodendron donnell-smithii (syn. Cybistax donnell-smithii, Tabebuia donnell-smithii)
Distribution: Central America (Also grown on plantations)
Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3 (465 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .47
Janka Hardness: 710 lbf (3,170 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 10,230 lbf/in2 (70.5 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,133,000 lbf/in2 (7.81 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 5,850 lbf/in2 (40.4 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 3.1%, Tangential: 5.1%, Volumetric: 8.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.6
Color/Appearance: Usually ranges from a pale cream color to a golden yellow. Color tends to darken and redden with age. Can exhibit a ribbon-like chatoyant grain pattern similar to quartersawn Sapele.
Grain/Texture: Grain usually ranges from straight to slightly interlocked. Medium texture and medium sized pores, with a naturally high luster.
Rot Resistance: Heartwood is somewhat resistant to decay, though it is susceptible to insect attack. Primavera has good overall weathering properties. Also, heartwood and sapwood are not well defined and look similar in color, with the sapwood being perishable.
Workability: Although Primavera frequently has interlocked and irregular grain, it is overall quite easy to work: most likely on account of its rather low density compared to other hardwoods. It does, however, have a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges, so carbide tools are recommended. Primavera also tends to split when nailed or screwed, so pilot holes are recommended despite the wood’s softness. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although no known direct testing has been performed, Primavera has been found to contain Lapachenole and Lapachol, two sensitizers found in other wood species that are known to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Primavera is commonly sold in both lumber and veneer form. Prices should be in the mid-range for imported lumber; prices are likely to be stabler than other tropical American exotics since it is also plantation grown.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, cabinetry, and interior trim.
Comments: Primavera looks similar to a number of other wood species, such as Ceylon Satinwood, and is sometimes also referred to as “White Mahogany.”
Related Species: None available.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the veneer sample of this wood species.