Lemonwood (Calycophyllum candidissimum)

Lemonwood (Calycophyllum candidissimum)

View More Images Below

Common Name(s): Lemonwood, Degame

Scientific Name: Calycophyllum candidissimum

Distribution: Cuba and Central America

Tree Size: 40-80 ft (12-24 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (810 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .67, .81

Janka Hardness: 1,880 lbf (8,350 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 22,100 lbf/in2 (152.4 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,284,000 lbf/in2 (15.75 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,790 lbf/in2 (67.5 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.8%, Tangential: 8.6%, Volumetric: 13.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.8

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a light brown to pale yellowish color. Sapwood is lighter in color and isn’t clearly demarcated form the hartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain tends to be straight to slightly interlocked. Fine, uniform texture with a slightly lustrous appearance.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples of 2-4 or more; small pores in no specific arrangement, numerous to very numerous; parenchyma absent; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close.

Rot Resistance: Mixed reports depending on type of decay fungi; usually rated as moderately durable. Excellent resistance to marine borers.

Workability: Overall working properties are fair, though dry wood is reported to have a high cutting resistance. Lemonwood turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Lemonwood. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Most quality trees are primarily grown in Cuba, so the wood can be difficult to obtain due to trade restrictions. Lemonwood is sometimes seen for sale as turning blanks, bow stave blanks, and veneer. Prices are likely to be moderately high for an imported wood.

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

Common Uses: Archery bows, carvings, turned objects, and fishing rods.

Comments: Not to be confused with the wood from actual lemon trees (Citrus limon), which is not regularly used in woodworking applications. Lemonwood is sometimes referred to as Degame.

Lemonwood has a very good MOR-to-weight ratio, and generally possesses good strength properties, which explains its use in archery bows and fishing rods.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

None available.

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

Lemonwood (Calycophyllum candidissimum)

Lemonwood (sanded)

Lemonwood (sealed)

Lemonwood (sealed)

Lemonwood (endgrain)

Lemonwood (endgrain)

Lemonwood (endgrain 10x)

Lemonwood (endgrain 10x)


  1. Juan Antonio Espinosa Steiner August 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Nothing to do with lemons, this tree.
    But de correct spanish name is DAGAME or DÁGAME, and other names as SALAMO, CAMARÓN… but never degame.

    • Juan Antonio Espinosa Steiner January 8, 2019 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Lee, I know it´s been used, at least in Spain, for backpipes, flutes, ando other musical instruments.
      Some craftsman told me about the good sound cuality of this wood.

  2. Lee McComish June 5, 2018 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I have been warned about the high cut resistance of lemon wood, but having seen an ideal blank in my local yard I might consider it for an electric guitar body, any idea what’s tonal quality is like?
    Thanks in advance.

  3. David Britton May 20, 2018 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Is lemon tree wood good as a firewood??

    • Eric May 21, 2018 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Are you referring to lemonwood (the wood species on this page) or the actual tree that yields the lemon fruit (different species)?

Leave A Comment