Garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa)

Garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa)

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Common Name(s): Garapa

Scientific Name: Apuleia leiocarpa

Distribution: South America

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (820 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .65, .82

Janka Hardness: 1,650 lbf (7,350 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 18,530 lbf/in2 (127.8 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,257,000 lbf/in2 (15.57 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,030 lbf/in2 (62.3 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 7.5%, Volumetric: 11.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.8

Color/Appearance: Garapa has a golden to yellowish brown color, which darkens with age. The wood is fairly chatoyant, and appears to shift from dark to light coloring in different lighting angles. (This is evident in the scanned image of the sealed wood below, which only appears as patches of light/dark wood.)

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, but can also be interlocked. Uniform medium texture with a moderate amount of natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous; yellowish brown mineral deposits common; parenchyma lozenge, winged, and confluent; narrow rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable, though vulnerable to termites and other insect attacks.

Workability: Garapa is fairly easy to work, despite its density. Glues and finishes well, and is about average for dimensional stability.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Garapa has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Garapa is not commonly available in lumber form, though it is sometimes used for flooring and decking. The price should be moderate for an imported hardwood.

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

Common Uses: Flooring, decking, dock, and boatbuilding.

Comments: Garapa is occasionally exported from South America.

Related Species:

None available.

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Geoffrey Thomas for providing the wood sample of this wood species.

Garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa)

Garapa (sanded)

Garapa (sealed)

Garapa (sealed)

Garapa (endgrain)

Garapa (endgrain)

Garapa (endgrain 10x)

Garapa (endgrain 10x)


  1. Eric May 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    I’m never even considered such an application, but after a quick internet search it appears that lightweight, dimensionally stable woods are preferred. It does seem like denser woods would be very “hot” to the touch in that kind of environment, with woods like cedar, aspen, and fir being the most common.
    Cedar seems like the ideal wood for this situation: stable and light.

  2. Glenn DeSpain May 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I am considering using Garapa lumber to rebuild sauna benches. I can not find any information for this particular use. The only concern is heat retention and sitting on the surface. I think it would hold up great compared to ceder. Do you feel this would be a bad choice using Garapa? Any assistance would be helpful.

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