Mora (Mora excelsa)
Mora (Mora excelsa)

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Common Name(s): Mora

Scientific Name: Mora excelsa, M. gonggrijpii

Distribution: Northeastern South America (primarily Guyana and Suriname)

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 63 lbs/ft3 (1,015 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .80, 1.01

Janka Hardness: 2,300 lbf (10,230 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 22,550 lbf/in2 (155.5 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,790,000 lbf/in2 (19.24 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 11,950 lbf/in2 (82.4 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 6.7%, Tangential: 9.9%, Volumetric: 17.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light to medium reddish brown. Wide pale yellow-brown sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Has a straight to interlocked grain, with a medium to coarse texture. Good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits present; narrow rays faintly visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma vasicentric,lozenge, winged, confluent, and marginal.

Rot Resistance: Mora is rated as durable to very durable, and also has good resistance to insect attacks.

Workability: Pieces with interlocked grain can be difficult to work, frequently resulting in tearout during machining operations. Mora also has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges.

Odor: Mora can have an unpleasant and sour odor while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Mora has been reported to cause respiratory irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Mora is used within its native range, and is only occasionally exported. When available, prices 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, boatbuilding, heavy (exterior) construction, and turned objects.

Comments: Not to be confused with a striped Guatemalan wood that is also sometimes marketed as “Mora,” which is almost universally mislabeled as Maclura tinctoria. Mora excelsa can be distinguished by a more uniform and consistent color, as well as a coarser texture and an unpleasant sour odor when being worked.

Related Species:

None available.


Mora (Mora excelsa)
Mora (sanded)
Mora (sealed)
Mora (sealed)
Mora (endgrain)
Mora (endgrain)
Mora (endgrain 10x)
Mora (endgrain 10x)
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Hoang Ly Minh

common name should be added these following names: Eastern mahogany, Nato.

Eric S

I second this. This wood, termed “nato” has become extremely common as a kind of a mahogany substitute in less expensive guitars, particularly for the neck and sides. I’ve also seen it claimed that nato is nyatoh, but the mora claim seems more convincing: